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Addressing the Affordable Housing Crisis

The statistics are daunting: 740,000 households do not have and cannot afford a safe, stable home in N.C.; the average hourly wage needed to afford a two-bedroom apartment at fair market rent is $13.63, persons with disabilities receive only $3.59 an hour in support; 8,891 households go without heat in the winter; and more than 13,000 homes still lack indoor plumbing. However, these numbers only represent the tangible need for housing.


Housing Stock

  • 3,523,944 - Total housing units
  • 69.4% - Homeownership rate
  • 17% - Percent of the owner-occupied homes that are mobile homes
  • 14% - Percent of the renter-occupied homes that are mobile homes
  • 1979 - Median year of construction for owner-occupied homes
  • 1975 - Median year of construction for renter-occupied homes
  • 4% - Percent of total units that are seasonally vacant


Housing Costs

  • $1,192 - Median monthly homeownership cost (2006 dollars)
  • $656 - Fair Market Rent for two-bedroom unit [i]
  • $12.61 - Hourly wage needed to afford a two-bedroom apartment at Fair Market Rent
  • $6.15 - Minimum wage in 2008
  • $3.59 - SSI income as an hourly wage in 2007 (assuming 40 hours per week)
  • 43% - Percent of renters that don’t earn enough to afford a two-bedroom apartment at Fair Market Rent (412,689 renter households)


Housing Problems

  • 2,000,000 - Estimated number of North Carolinians with a housing problem
  • 27.4% - Percent of households with housing problems
  • 37.4% - Percent of renter households with housing problems (359,000 households)
  • 22.9% - Percent of owner households with housing problems (497,000  households)
  • 47.8% - Percent of low-income households [ii] with cost problems that pay more than 30% of income for housing. This is 93% of all low-income households with housing problems.
  • 291,000 - Low-income renter households that pay more than 30% of income for housing [iii]
  • 317,000 - Low-income owner households that pay more than 30% of income for housing


The state’s most critical housing need is improving rental housing opportunities for households earning less than 30% of median income.


Sources: 2000 Census, National Low Income Housing Coalition's 2003 "Out of Reach" report, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

[i] "Fair Market Rent" means the rent for a less-than-average standard rental until: for a detailed description see www.huduser.org/datasets/fmr.html.

[ii] “Housing Problems” are defined as having to pay more than 30% of income for housing, having inadequate kitchen or plumbing facilities, or having over-crowded housing (more than one person per room).

[iii] “Low-income” means earning less than 80% of the median family income in North Carolina. 

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