Today we are releasing our 2024 County Profiles! Our County Profiles are meant to be an accessible tool that advocates and organizations alike can use to communicate a snapshot of the housing need within their communities to a range of audiences. Each profile provides data on cost-burden, the income needed to afford Fair Market Rent, and where the county ranks in evictions compared to the rest of the state. Before we jump into the housing call, I want to highlight a few key things from this year’s profiles.
- This year we are including a profile for the state, so there will be 101 profiles.
- We added two new data points – the increase in Fair Market Rents over the last 5 years (2019-2023) and the increase in Fair Market Rents over the last year.
We did this to provide an additional metric that can communicate just how much the cost of living has increased both pre-pandemic, and in the last five years alone. In some places, there was an increase of as high as 69% in fair market rents over the last five years, and as high as 34% in the last year.
- We found that more than 1 in 4 North Carolinians (1.1 million households) can’t afford their home, meaning they are cost burdened and paying more than 30% of their gross income. This includes renters and homeowners.
- The housing wage needed to afford a 2 bedroom apartment at fair market rent in many counties is double and in some places quadruple the minimum wage. Meaning no one earning minimum wage can afford a 2bd at FMR in any county in North Carolina. Remember, the housing wage is the wage needed to be able to afford a 2 bedroom apartment at Fair Market Rent.
We won’t give anything more away (yet), but we do have a few resources we will be releasing alongside the profiles today and a few others we’re planning to release in the near future in order to help you add this resource into your advocacy toolkit.
- Methodology 1 pager
- Data tables
- Frequently asked questions about the County Profiles (coming soon)
- Tips on how to effectively use this tool for advocacy and information sharing (coming soon)
Check out our blog post about the 2024 County Profiles release here.
- A few days ago, The Supreme Court of the United States will hear Johnson vs. Grants Pass, a case that will decide if people experiencing homelessness who are sleeping outside or in tent encampments can be fined or jailed. Supreme Court to rule on clearing homeless encampments in California and the West
- They are acting on the appeals from city officials in California and the West, the court will review decisions of the U.S 9th Circuit Court of Appeals – which held that it was cruel and unusual punishment for cities to deny people experiencing homelessness a place to sleep.
- As a result of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rulings – public officials in California and the remaining eight Western States under its jurisdiction will face greater scrutiny and legal challenges when they try and move or clear encampments or relocate homeless people
- Last week we released an Urgent Advocacy Alert regarding what we have learned could be the last chances to include critical AHCIA provisions in any agreed upon tax package. We ask that you continue reaching out to all of your representatives in Congress and ask them to reach out to congressional and the tax-writing committee leadership in support of the Housing Credit. To see a full list of the congressional representatives from North Carolina, click here.
- A deal has been reached on another short-term funding bill that would avert a partial government shutdown, congressional leaders announced on Sunday, January 14. This would fund the government through March 1 and March 8. The current funding deal (passed in November) had deadlines of January 19 – 3 days from now – and February 2. If passed this would be the third short term spending deal Congress has reached since September 2023.
Last week an agreement was struck between Speaker Johson, Leader Schumer and the White House on Top Line spending which will pave the way for the chance for spending pills to pass and for each agency to avoid government shutdowns. The agreement is to fund domestic programs at $772.7 billion – a 0.2% increase over FY23, plus $69 billion in additional funding through a side agreement. They have until January 19th to reach an agreement on a final FY24 spending bill for HUD.
Remember a CR = Continuing Resolution. This just maintains FY23 funding levels without revisions to address new or changed needs in FY24. And because the costs of housing and development programs are tied to market rates, which have risen dramatically in recent years. Flat funding will have the effect of a budget cut, and will reduce the number of people served by HUD’s vital affordable housing and homelessness programs.
If a longer continuing resolution is enacted or there are any appropriations bills still under CR by April 30, then this will trigger the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) which dictates if any of the 12 annual federal appropriations bills are still under CR by April 30, then across the board spending cuts will occur.
(Source: NLIHC| Top Line Funding Number Finalized & FY24 Analysis )
We are still keeping an eye on this matter as it develops, we want to continue to highlight this as a major concern that impacts everyone across our state, particularly homeowners, and renters at risk due to potential impacts to affordable housing developments and developers. Make sure to participate in the public forum!
Additional News & Resources
Yesterday – Carolina Forward released another piece that provides additional insight on the Proposed Insurance Hikes, from the perspective of one of their Senior Fellows who is also an independent insurance agent. Insights include not only why this is happening within the insurance market all over our country, but also, what legislative action could have been taken.
Another piece you’ll find linked in the “In the news” section as well shows maps of the most vulnerable areas for insurance shocks – The housing market is being hit by home insurance shocks – maps that show the most vulnerable areas | Fast Company
This article provides a map by First Street Foundation that analyzes projects in housing markets to see which might be at the greatest risk of home insurance shocks heading forward. The maps look at the percentage of housing properties identified as risk for “Insurance corrections” due to wind risk, fire risk, and flood risk which are often the stated reasons for increases in premiums.Now here’s the catch, even homes with lower levels of “Insurance correction” risk, could still experience their home insurance premium increasing or nonrenewed for fire, wind, and flood – this can happen in part because construction costs and home prices have surged significantly since 2020 making repairs increasingly more expensive.
Reminders about public input opportunities!
- A public comment forum will be held to listen to public input on the North Carolina Bureau’s rate increase request on January 22, from 10am to 4:30pm in the Department of Insurance’s Jim Long Hearing Room on Jan. 22 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Jim Long Hearing Room is in the Albemarle Building, 325 N. Salisbury St., Raleigh, N.C. 27603.
- People can participate in person or virtually using this link here.
- Emailed public comments should be sent by February 2 to an email at 2024Homeowners@ncdoi.gov
- Written public comments must be received by Kimberly W. Pearce, Paralegal III by February 2 and addressed to 1201 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1201
- Insurance firms seek 42% rate hike for NC homes; 99% increase at beaches, officials say | The North Carolina Rate Bureau – an agency that represents companies that write insurance policies in the state is requesting an average 42.2 percent rate increase for homeowners’ insurance.
- Here is a detailed list by cities and counties of the requested increases.
State Legislative Updates
NCGA State lawmakers are set to convene again on January 17, 2024. They will convene a few more times before the beginning of the short session, which is scheduled to begin on April 24, 2024.
We will continue to monitor any issues brought forward regarding housing or related issues, as well as any potential technical corrections regarding the FY23-25 state budget.
Relevant NCGA Meetings
- Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations: Subcommittee on Hurricane Recovery & Response – 10:00 am on January 23, 2024
- House Select Committee on Homeowner Associations – meeting Wednesday, January 24, 2024 at 10:00am
- Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on General Government – Tuesday January 30, 2024 – 1:00pm
The short session is the season held in the second – even – year of the biennium. During this session only certain matters can be considered, and are outlined in the adjournment resolution voted on in order to determine their eligibility. A matter can also be considered if authorized by a joint resolution passed by a two-thirds vote of each chamber’s members present and voting.
We will continue to monitor the bills discussed during the short session, particularly the ones we have already included in our bill tracker that survived crossover, as well as any bills directly affecting the State budget and other key matters that impact housing and community development.
Knightdale officials don hard hats for affordable housing – Restoration NewsMedia Knightdale elected officials and town employees recently teamed up with Habitat Wake for a construction work day at a Habitat community under construction. In addition to lending their time to help out with the build, the Town is assisting Habitat with infrastructure improvements and utility easements, which help to keep development costs low.
Study seeks to gauge housing needs in the region | BizFayetteville | 11 local real estate associations across central NC are administering a Housing Needs Assessment survey. Members of the public and employers from the Carolina Core (roughly from Winston-Salem going southeast to Fayetteville –Alamance, Caswell, Chatham, Cumberland, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Guilford, Harnett, Hoke, Johnston Lee, Montgomery, Moore, Person Randolph, Rockingham, Stokes, Wilkes & Yadkin counties) are invited to complete this short survey.
Public Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CarolinaCorePublic
Employer Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CarolinaCoreEmployer
Morehead to add affordable housing options with authorization of new project | Carteret County News-Times At a recent council meeting, Morehead City officials approved a 168-unit affordable development project situated outside of the 100-year floodplain. The development, which will be named Elijah’s Landing, is made possible through a combination of federal funds allocated through NCORR, in addition to a HUD multifamily loan and a 4% LIHTC bond deal.
- [in person, $25 or sliding cost] Economy for All 2024: Building a Better North Carolina | January 17 @ 6:30 p.m., Hayti Heritage Center in Durham
- [webinar] Housing Technology Series Event 2: Planning for New Supply | HUD & Terner Housing Innovation Labs, January 18, 1-2:30 EST
- [advocacy opportunity] Public Comment Forum on the NC Rate Bureau’s Insurance Rate Increase Request | January 22, 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. – NC Dept of Insurance’s Jim Long Hearing Room in the Albemarle Building, 325 N. Salisbury St., Raleigh.
- A virtual public comment forum will be held simultaneously with the in-person forum on Jan. 22 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The link to this virtual forum will be: https://ncgov.webex.com/ncgov/j.php?MTID=mb3fe10c8f69bbedd2aaece485915db7e
- Emailed public comments should be sent by Feb. 2 to: 2024Homeowners@ncdoi.gov.
- Written public comments must be received by Kimberly W. Pearce, Paralegal III, by Feb. 2 and addressed to 1201 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1201.
- [webinar] Why should environmentalists support building more housing? | Mountain True, January 22, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
- [livestream report release] America’s Rental Housing 2024 | The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, January 25 at 4 p.m.
- [webinar] Zoning Reforms That Improve Access to Housing for All: Evidence and Lessons for Advocates | Urban Institute, February 5, 3:30 – 5 p.m.
Reports & Resources
- [report] Place the Blame Where It Belongs: Lack of Housing Supply Is Largely Responsible for High Home Prices and Rents | Urban Institute
- [blog] CRA Overhaul: Did The Agencies Do Enough To Cure Ratings Inflation? | NCRC
In the News
- Affordable Housing, Defined | Planetizen
- US Needs More Housing to Support Public Transit Recovery | Bloomberg
- Meet the new generation of manufactured houses | NPR
- Creating More Affordable Homes Critical For Revitalizing The American Dream | Forbes
- [opinion] Homelessness has reached record levels. We know how to fight it. | The Hill
- An Income Gap is Jeopardizing Retirement for Millions of Americans| The New York Times
- As Utility Bills Rise, Low-Income Americans Struggle for Access to Clean Energy | The New York Times
- The housing market is being hit by home insurance shocks – maps that show the most vulnerable areas | Fast Company
- Hundreds of motel rooms across Charlotte are being turned into housing | Axios
- Winston-Salem leaders touted a motel conversion project as a solution to homelessness. Now delays and lawsuits are raising questions about its future | WFDD