Monday numbers: A closer look at North Carolina’s affordable housing crisis

Monday numbers: A closer look at North Carolina’s affordable housing crisis

- in News, Top Story


State and national housing experts say the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout underscore the need for a stronger housing safety net.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition recently released its annual report examining the significant gap between wages and the cost of rental housing.

The data make a strong case for Congress to expand access to rental assistance to every eligible household in need. NLIHC is also calling for an annual investment of $45 billion for the national Housing Trust Fund, which would create more new housing options and rehabilitate homes for renters with extremely low incomes.

The report concludes:

A return to a pre-pandemic status quo would fail the millions of renters who could not afford their rent even in a better economic climate. As the country looks to recover from the pandemic and economic crisis, the time is ripe to make meaningful and long-lasting structural changes to ensure low-wage workers and the most marginalized people have stable, affordable homes.

Here’s a closer look at the rental picture in North Carolina:

3,965,482 – Number of households in North Carolina

Source: NLIHC, Out of Reach 2021

1,379,548 – Number of renter households in North Carolina

35 – Percentage of North Carolinians who rent

$7.25 – North Carolina’s minimum wage

$18.46 – Average hourly wage a worker would need to earn to afford a two-bedroom apartment in North Carolina at fair market rent

86 – Number of hours per week a minimum-wage employee would need to work in North Carolina to afford a modest one-bedroom rental home at fair market rent

102 – Number of hours per week a minimum-wage employee would need to work to afford a two-bedroom rental home at fair market rent

$960 – Average monthly fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment in North Carolina

$38,400 – Annual income needed to afford a two-bedroom home at fair market rent. (Note that in hotter metro areas more money would be necessary to cover the rent and utilities.)

$1,279 – Average fair market rent for a two-bedroom unit in Buncombe County

3.4 – Number of full-time jobs at minimum wage a worker would need to afford that two-bedroom unit in Buncombe County

$24.60 – Hourly wage needed to afford a two-bedroom rental home in Buncombe County

$51,160 – Annual income needed to afford a two-bedroom apartment at fair market rent in Buncombe County

$1,200 – Fair market rent for a two-bedroom unit in the Raleigh metro area

$23.08 – Hourly wage needed to afford a two-bedroom rental home in Wake County

$48,000 – Annual income needed in the Raleigh metro area to afford a two-bedroom home at fair market rent

$21.81 – Hourly wage needed to afford a two-bedroom rental home in Durham County

$1,134 – Fair market rent for a two-bedroom unit in Durham County

3 – Number of full-time jobs at minimum wage a worker would need to afford that two-bedroom unit in Durham County

$45,360 – Annual income needed in Durham County to afford a two-bedroom home at fair market rent

0 – Number of states where a minimum-wage renter working a 40-hour work week can afford a modest two-bedroom rental unit at the average fair market rent

$1 billion – the amount set aside in North Carolina’s Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions (HOPE) program to offer rent and utility assistance to low-income renters facing economic hardships because of the COVID-19 pandemic

Get the full report here.