Research and News Roundup:
June 2024

Mary Ann Priester

Senior Management Analyst
Mecklenburg County Community Support Services

The Research and News Roundup is a monthly blog series that features a curated list of recent news and research related to housing instability, homelessness, and affordable housing. Together, these topics provide insights about the full housing continuum and provide community stakeholders with information about emergent research, promising practices, and innovative solutions related to housing and homelessness.

This month’s Research and News Roundup highlights an innovative partnership to support households facing eviction, a local program that supports veterans in overcoming workforce barriers, and key findings from the 2024 State of Housing report .


Public Library Partnership to Help Richmonders Facing Eviction

The Richmond Public Library (RPL) and Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC) recently launched a partnership to provide assistance to renters who are facing potential eviction. The program uses VPLC’s Eviction Defense Center website which assists users in preparing for court by using responsive guides that provide information on understanding the eviction process, fighting their eviction, and finding a free legal aid attorney. The website is available in both Spanish and English. The goal of the Eviction Defense Center is to support individuals who are unable to receive direct Legal Aid. The website is accessible via smartphone or computer but librarians and VPLC staff will offer free in-person assistance during designated times to help renters navigate the online tool.


US Department Of Labor Awards More Than $57m In Grants To Help Homeless, At-Risk Veterans Re-Enter Workforce

Last week the US Department of Labor announced the award of $57 million in Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program (HVRP) grants. The goal of the HVRP grant is to help veterans at-risk of or experiencing homelessness, homeless women veterans, homeless veterans with children, and justice-involved veterans in overcoming workforce barriers. HVRP grantees achieve this goal by providing veterans with supportive services, vocational counseling, training and apprenticeships, job search and placement services, and tools, clothing, fees, and transportation assistance to help facilitate veterans in connecting with meaningful employment and a livable wage. Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry – Veteran Services of the Carolina (ABCCM-VSC) has been an HVRP grantee since 2022 and received an additional $500,000 for fiscal year 2024 to provide these essential and needed services to veterans in 14 counties in the Piedmont region including Mecklenburg County. To connect veterans with HVRP services, please reach out to ABCCM-VSC here.


State of the Nation’s Housing

In June 2024, Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) released the 2024 State of the Nation’s Housing report. The report highlights the ongoing and extreme affordable housing crisis in the United States. Key findings include:

  • High Housing Cost Burden: Due to increasing housing costs and stagnant wages, in 2022, 50% of renters were cost-burdened spending over 30% of their income on housing costs, with renters of color experiencing higher rates of cost burden. While cost-burden has previously been experienced predominantly by low-income households, there has been a significant increase in the number of middle-income households reporting housing cost burden.
  • Housing Shortage: Nationally there is a shortage of over one million housing units. This shortage impacts both rental and home ownership markets and has been exacerbated by high land, labor, and materials costs, and financing and zoning restrictions and limitations.
  • Insufficient Federal Rental Assistance: In 2021, of the households eligible to receive federal housing subsidies, only 25% of eligible households received assistance. This illustrates the need for expanded and strengthened federal housing subsidy programs.

The report provides recommendations on how to address these and other challenges through collaboration, reform, and innovation.


Addressing Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s goal of reducing homelessness and ensuring access to safe, affordable housing requires integrated and innovative strategies that span the housing continuum. The VPLC – Richmond Library model provides a novel approach to supporting people facing eviction and could be replicated in Mecklenburg County. HVRP has been an effective approach to connecting veterans to meaningful work and a livable wage and with funding could be a model that could be scaled to serve all populations of people in Mecklenburg County who are at-risk of or experiencing homelessness. Finally, while the 2024 State of Housing report key findings provide information consistent with what we have seen in both local and national reports, it also provides recommendations that can be considered to address the affordable housing crisis in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. Together, these innovative solutions related to housing and homelessness can inform local strategy to address the housing needs of all residents in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.