Many North Carolina communities are experiencing an affordable housing crisis, which is particularly severe for those who rent. This report examines severe housing cost burden, overcrowding and substandard housing conditions among renters in the state. It identifies areas in our state with extreme housing needs, defined as having relatively high levels of at least two of the following three indicators: severe housing cost burden, overcrowding and the lack of complete kitchen and bathroom facilities.
Among the report’s findings:
- Census tracts with extreme housing conditions were found in 46 of North Carolina’s 100 counties and in all three geographic regions.
- As of 2013, more than 377,000, or 28.2 percent, of the State’s rental households experienced severe cost burdens, were overcrowded or lacked critical facilities.
- The number of severely cost-burdened households increased by 53,737 or 22.5 percent between 2008 and 2013.
- In eight census tracts, over 60 percent of renter households were severely cost burdened, with the highest percentage being 77.4 percent in a Wake County tract.
- The number of overcrowded households increased by 20,437, or 45.4 percent, between 2008 and 2013.
- In six census tracts, over 30 percent of renter households were overcrowded, with the highest rate being 53 percent in a Wake County tract.
The report’s findings indicate that additional efforts are needed to improve housing conditions, reduce overcrowding, and lessen the housing cost burdens of renters in North Carolina. Without decent and affordable housing it is difficult for many families in the state to lead happy and productive lives. These housing problems also increase public health care costs and reliance on social support programs and lower productivity. The combined efforts of state and local governments are needed to reverse the negative trends in housing affordability and overcrowding and improve the quality of life and economic productivity of North Carolinians.
In addition to the report, an interactive map for Extreme Housing Conditions in North Carolina can be found here.