Today we are releasing the 2024 County Profiles for North Carolina and all 100 counties across the state.
County Profiles are an accessible tool that advocates and organizations alike can use to communicate the housing need within their counties to a range of audiences, from community partners to local and state elected officials. Each County Profile provides a data snapshot of the county’s housing need, including the percent of residents who are cost-burdened, the income needed to afford Fair Market Rent, and where the county ranks in evictions compared to the rest of the state.
This year, we included two new metrics based on feedback from our Coalition:
- The increase in Fair Market Rents over the last 5 years 2019-2023
- The increase in Fair Market Rents in the last year
These new metrics are a testament to the significant and consistent increases in the cost of living across our state. This is especially important because in some areas there was as much as a 69% increase in fair market rents over the last 5 years.
Important Note: Fair Market Rents (FMRs) are published by HUD annually. These are gross rent estimates set for specific geographical areas also set by HUD. Although HUD has made improvements to their methodology in recent years, FMRs often underestimate the cost of living in an area. In competitive rental markets or anywhere demand is greater than the number of available units, it is incredibly difficult to find a place to live at or below FMR. Additionally, the FMR includes estimated utility costs and additional fees charged by landlords, so the actual monthly rent that is considered affordable is even less than the set FMR.
2024 County Profile Data Highlights
Data is critical to communicating the need for affordable housing across our state, and several data points stood out to us this year as we analyzed this year’s County Profiles and identified trends.
- Almost 1.2 million households in North Carolina are cost-burdened, meaning they are paying more than 30% of their income on housing
- The average total cost burden across all counties in North Carolina is 28%.
- For the second year in a row, the county with the highest percentage of total cost burdened households is Hyde County at 47%.
- On average, area Fair Market Rents for a modest 2-bedroom apartment in North Carolina have increased 38% between 2019-2023.
The following metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) have the highest Fair Market Rents for a 2-bedroom apartment AND saw the highest increases in Fair Market Rents between 2019-2025 compared to other communities.
When looking at the rate of eviction filings compared to the total number of renter households, the following counties are in the top 3, meaning they have a high ratio of renter households in their communities that faced eviction.
- Edgecombe County
- Nash County
- Vance County
The highest number of eviction filings occurred in Mecklenburg County where 33,507 were filed. Mecklenburg County also has the highest total number of cost burdened households at 139,324.
As part of the development process for the 2024 County Profiles, we gathered feedback from our Coalition in the Fall of 2023, summarized the feedback, and identified what new data or resource requests would fit with our County Profiles. Data requests that were not a good fit for this year’s County Profiles are being considered for separate reports or data projects. Once we finalize our data analysis, we finalized a design we believe could compliment the data and information on each profile.
The official survey for input on 2025 County Profiles will open in September 2024 and close at the beginning of November 2024. However, we welcome you to reach out and let us know what you think of the 2024 County Profiles, bring forward any questions or concerns you have, and allow us to learn how best to support you and our communities across North Carolina.
Add to your Advocacy Toolkit
Year after year we hear from various groups across the housing ecosystem that County Profiles have been used to communicate the housing need to elected officials, community leaders, other advocates, community assessments and reports, grants, and much more. We encourage you to make them part of your advocacy toolkit in growing the housing movement in North Carolina. Stay tuned for additional tools and resources regarding our 2024 County Profiles in the coming weeks! See information regarding our data sources and methodology as well as ways to contact us about County Profiles below.
Our Data Sources include:
- American Communities Survey 5-Year Estimates Data Profile
- HUD Fair Market Rents
- US Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Civil Issue Filings and Order Results – NC Administrative Office of the Courts