Later this month, Mecklenburg County will release the final total for the 2018 Point-in-Time Count: the annual census of the number of people experiencing homelessness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg on one night in January. The data from the Point-in-Time Count will be included as part of a new annual report, the State of Housing & Homelessness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. In addition to Point-in-Time Count data, this report will also include information on affordable housing and housing instability.

Homelessness and housing instability and related factors of education, childcare and transportation can be viewed as separate issues, which can diminish the effectiveness of potential solutions and create community silos.  Understanding the intersection of challenges that individuals and families face from housing instability to homelessness are critical to creating holistic housing solutions that can promote housing stability, improve education and support overall well being. 

On June 18, 2018, The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University released the “State of the Nation’s Housing 2018” report, marking the 30th anniversary of its release. The report is released annually and provides an overview of housing market conditions in the United States. The 2018 release also looks back at the last 30 years to examine how key metrics have changed and progress on the goal of producing decent and affordable homes for everyone. This blog post provides a high-level overview of the report and key takeaways for Charlotte-Mecklenburg. Mecklenburg County Community Support Services offers considerations for the community in the “So, What” section.

Last week’s blog was dedicated to the release of new data in the 2018 Out of Reach report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition. The blog discussed the need for more housing assistance, including from the private sector to decrease housing costs and close the gap. This week’s blog takes on the second part of the Out of Reach Report: the problem of low wages, the growth of low wage work and need to address wages in addition to housing to close the gap. 

In 2016, we co-authored a blog, dedicated to this topic with the title, “In 2016, housing remains out of reach for many”. We have updated the year to 2018, but the title is the same and the gap between housing costs and income is the widest yet. This blog post provides a high level overview of the findings from the report and what it means for Charlotte-Mecklenburg. Mecklenburg County Community Support Services has outlined additional policy and practice interventions for consideration in the “So, What” section at the end of the post.

On Friday, June 1, UNC Greensboro hosted the Innovations in Planning for Better Community Housing and Health Symposium. The goal of the Symposium was to “explore the use of data and cross-sector collaborations to develop healthy neighborhoods facing the greatest barriers to good health”. This blog post is dedicated to two ideas we took away from other communities for consideration in Charlotte-Mecklenburg as we work to prevent and end homelessness and promote housing sustainability throughout the community.

This post is devoted to linking the information from all three reports. Read more to get the highlights from all three reports and access a new, one-page Fact Sheet that takes the essential information from the three report briefs. It also includes new information from The Eviction Lab, which was released in April 2018 by Princeton University and Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (2016). In addition to information the Fact Sheet provides ways for you to get involved in big changes that can reduce and prevent evictions in the community.

The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and Mecklenburg County Community Support Services released Charlotte-Mecklenburg Evictions Part 3: One-month Snapshot of Eviction Court Records Wednesday, May 23, 2018. Evictions Part 3: One-Month Snapshot of Eviction Court Records is the final report in a series on evictions in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.  This report focuses on how and why tenants are evicted and the cost of evictions for landlords and tenants. This series marks the first time local eviction data from court records have been analyzed and reported. Read the full reflection to see the report findings and find out what it means for Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

On Wednesday, May 23, the report, “Charlotte-Mecklenburg Evictions Part 3: One-month Snapshot of Eviction Court Records” will be released to the public – the third report in a series focused on evictions in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The report marks the first time local eviction data from court records have been analyzed and reported. Read more to learn what will be covered and why it matters.

As part of Mecklenburg County’s Capital Improvement Program, the Main Library located in uptown Charlotte will be replaced and closed for several years. Early in the planning stages, Library and County officials recognized that the Library is an important component of an ecosystem that supports Charlotte’s homeless population, in direct alignment with its mission to improve lives and build a stronger community. They further identified that the needs of the homeless would need to be addressed in the space and programming for the new Main Library. To better understand those needs, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and Mecklenburg County Community Support Services partnered to conduct a survey in September 2017. This survey was designed to understand the impact of the closing on library users and determine what resources are most valued by individuals who use the Main Library every day.