In February 2017 the Center for Urban and Regional Studies at the UNC Chapel Hill published a report entitled Extreme Housing Conditions in North Carolina. Using data from 2013, the report examines severe housing cost burden, overcrowding and substandard housing conditions among renters in the state. Using mapping tools, the report also identifies areas in our state whose needs are particularly acute.
Among the report’s findings are:
- 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 points to the need for combined efforts of state and local governments to reverse the negative trends in housing affordability and overcrowding and improve the quality of life and economic productivity of North Carolinians. To quote the authors:
The most important action the state can take is to increase its contributions to the North Carolina Housing Trust Fund, which is used to produce quality affordable rental housing.