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Monday, October 29, 2018

This U.S. City Spent Millions on Low Income Housing, But Poor Families Still Can’t Afford It!

City of Charlotte

The City of Charlotte, North Carolina has spent more than $124 million to build affordable housing over the past 16 years. However, poor families in the city are still struggling to find a safe yet affordable place to stay and call a home.
Charlotte is a growing city with a booming economy, numerous entertainment choices, alongside the increasing population. This fact also means growing needs including housing. But despite the city's efforts to build affordable housing, there is still a shortage in affordable housing.

According to reports, there is a 34,000-unit affordable housing shortage in the city, which is twice as many as the need 10 years ago. This crisis has been the result of the continuously growing population, rising land costs, and the city's decisions.

For instance, more than 70 percent of the units built using the $124 million housing trust fund couldn't be considered affordable to those "extremely low-income" families. Some buildings that receive subsidiaries don't have units to accommodate extremely low-income families, and some even charge almost the same rents as market-rate apartments nearby. What's worse, city officials counted homeless shelter beds as housing in its accounting.

Now, Charlotte leaders are asking voters to approve of the $50 million in bonds for affordable housing through the city's Housing Trust Fund over the next two years on November's ballot. It is more than triple than the $15 million that was sought in previous years. They are hoping it could reach out to the people who need it the most: those who belong to the poorest in the city.