Worst Case Rental Housing Needs in the Charlotte MSA

In the Charlotte metropolitan area in 1995, the only year for which data are available from the American Housing Survey, 15,100 households had "worst case" needs for rental housing assistance. These estimates do not include the homeless.

Households are considered to have worst case needs for housing assistance when they:

  • are renters with incomes below 50 percent of area median income (which, in Charlotte, was $24,800 for a four-person household in 1998);
  • either pay over half their income for rent or live in severely inadequate housing; and
  • are not assisted by Federal, state, or local housing assistance programs.

In the Charlotte area:

  • those with worst-case needs are 9 percent of renters and 3 percent of all households. Some 38 percent of the eligible unassisted very-low-income renters have worst case needs. In 1997, 52 percent of eligible renters in the U.S., and 46 percent of eligible renters in the South, had worst case needs.
  • 6,300 of the 15,100 households with worst case needs are families with children, and at least 3,700 other households have elderly or disabled members.
  • 69 percent of the worst case heads that are not elderly or disabled are working.
  • 45 percent of the worst case households are minorities.
  • 14,700 are paying over half their income for rent, while 900 live in severely inadequate housing.
  • fully 81 percent of those with worst case needs live in adequate, uncrowded housing, with severe rent burden as their only housing problem.
  • most - 81 percent - of those with worst case needs have incomes below 30 percent of area median income, which in 1998 was $14,900 per year for a four-person household.

The Charlotte area had less severe shortages of housing affordable to renters with incomes below 30 percent of median than generally found in the U.S. In 1995, for every 100 renter households with these "extremely low" incomes, there were 110 units they could theoretically afford. Nevertheless, since many of these units were occupied by higher-income renters, only 54 units were both affordable and available for every 100 extremely-low-income renters.

Charlotte was first surveyed by the American Housing Survey in 1995.


Content Archived: December 13, 2009