Almost 44 percent of renters in the Charlotte region are “cost-burdened” and about half of those are “severely cost-burdened,” according to a new study from Harvard University.
The study released this week by the university’s Joint Center for Housing Studies showed the same dynamic nationwide, as rents have risen far faster than incomes. The Charlotte region actually fared slightly better than the average: Across the U.S., almost half – 47 percent – of renters are cost-burdened.
“There are alarming trends that suggest a growing inability to supply housing that is affordable for middle- and working-class renters, let alone those with very low incomes,” said Christopher Herbert, the Joint Center’s managing director, in a statement.
Federal guidelines define someone as “cost-burdened” if they spend more than 30 percent of their gross income on housing. “Severely cost-burdened” renters spend more than 50 percent of their income on housing.
In the Charlotte region, more than one in five renter households met that threshold, spending more than 50 percent of their income on a place to live. There are almost 71,000 renters across the Charlotte region spending that amount, the analysis showed.
The statistics are worse elsewhere in North Carolina. In the Durham-Chapel Hill area, just under 50 percent of renters are cost-burdened, along with more than half in Wilmington, Greenville and Fayetteville. In South Carolina, about 48 percent of households are cost-burdened.
You can see an interactive map of the U.S. and compare regions online here.