2,700 Neighbors in Need: County Releases Housing & Homelessness Report
Mecklenburg County Community Support Services has released the 2023 State of Housing Instability and Homelessness (SoHIH) Report.
The annual report combines local, regional, and national data across the housing continuum, serving as foundation from which Charlotte-Mecklenburg can make informed decisions on the allocation of resources and development of systems of care.
The report consists of three main sections:
Homelessness (individuals in shelters and unsheltered)
Housing Instability (doubled up, housing cost-burden)
Stably Housed (permanent and affordable)
The report presents data on the demand side of the housing continuum, from housing instability to homelessness, and the supply side, which includes all types of permanent, affordable housing.
The 2023 SoHIH Report provides updated data from metrics related to housing and homelessness (cost-burden and evictions; Point-in-Time Count; housing inventory and rental gaps; Housing Trust Fund; and system performance metrics). This year’s report also includes data from the 2023 Unsheltered Point-in-Time Count Survey, Mecklenburg County Detention Center data, and enhanced information about local housing vouchers.
WHAT WE KNOW
The number of people experiencing homelessness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg continues to increase. As of June 2023, there were 2,704 people in Mecklenburg County actively experiencing homelessness, a 11% increase (from 2,428 people) from June 2022.
The number of people experiencing unsheltered homelessness has increased. According to 2023 Point-in-Time (PIT) count data, there were 288 people experiencing unsheltered homelessness in Mecklenburg County, a 35% increase since the 2020 count (214 people).
The average length of time people stay in emergency shelter has increased while the median length of time has decreased. This suggests the system is capable of facilitating rapid exit from homelessness, but still has some long-term shelter stayers.
Low-cost rentals are disappearing. Low-cost housing for low-income households now accounts for 12% of the total housing stock, down from 45% in 2011.
More low-and moderate-income households are struggling to afford and keep their housing. Lag in incomes increasing at the same rate as housing costs is a contributing factor to the number of rental households in Mecklenburg County who are housing cost burdened. Eighty-three percent of renters earning less than $50K per year are cost-burdened.
Evictions are increasing. Sixty percent of eviction cases filed in FY2023 were granted in full or part. Eviction filings increased by more than 40% in the last year, resulting in nearly 7,000 additional Mecklenburg County households losing their homes and acquiring an eviction record. In FY2023, 33,507 eviction cases were filed, a 31% increase in the number of eviction cases filed in pre-moratorium (FY2020: 25,631).
WHY IT MATTERS
The 2023 State of Housing Instability and Homelessness Report provides a single, dedicated compilation of the latest data on housing instability and homelessness pertaining to Charlotte-Mecklenburg. This resource can and should be used by all stakeholders who are working to address housing instability and homelessness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg and beyond. Data is crucial for quantifying these issues and for tracking progress and success.
Addressing housing instability and homelessness typically requires a multifaceted cross-systems approach that combines affordable housing initiatives, support services, mental health and addiction treatment, and employment opportunities, along with efforts to reduce discrimination and enhance tenant protections. As the community continues its mission and work through the A Home for All initiative to make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring, progress in these areas is imperative and possible.
The report and corresponding material can be found on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing & Homelessness Dashboard. It is compiled and released by Mecklenburg County Community Support Services/Housing Innovation and Stabilization Services.
HOW TO HELP
Residents can help in several ways, especially before and during the annual Point in Time Count.
Volunteer: Volunteers are needed on Jan. 25, 2024, to help complete surveys, assist in preparations, etc.
Donate: Residents can donate items to help people sleeping outside until housing is secured. Access the wish list here.
Raise Awareness: Residents can share information with their friends, family, and networks about housing and homelessness using the #EverybodyCountsCLT hashtag and PIT Activities calendar. The PIT Activities calendar provides data and links to events throughout January. It will be available mid-December at the Point-in-Time Count page