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Charlotte Talks: Low Wages, Rising Rent Factors Behind Charlotte's High Eviction Rate

Mary Newsom/UNC Charlotte Urban Institute

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

With affordable housing scarce and rents rising - evictions in Charlotte Mecklenburg are high - and that leads to even more problems for those who are struggling. Mike Collins and guests examine that.

It's no secret that it's getting more expensive to live in Charlotte. Rents continue to rise and affordable housing is scarce. The working poor are particularly vulnerable to the city's high cost of living. One outcome of this tight squeeze on families living paycheck to paycheck - eviction - impacts thousands in Charlotte.

This has long been a fairly invisible problem, but new data on evictions has brought more attention to the issue. A recent study found that 25 people a day are being evicted in Charlotte and the rate of eviction here is almost twice as high as in similar-sized cities in the southeast.

Researchers have found that eviction can be both a symptom and a cause of poverty. It can create a cycle in which tenants lose employment and an eviction record can make it more difficult to find a new home - for some that results in homelessness.

We'll take a deeper look into evictions, learn more about the circumstances behind them, and some of the factors behind our high rate of eviction.


Carol Hardison, CEO of Crisis Assistance Ministry, a nonprofit agency that provides emergency help with rent and utilities.

Mary Newsom, Director of Urban Policy Initiatives, UNC Charlotte Urban Institute.

Ken Szymanski, Executive Director, Greater Charlotte Apartment Association

Julia Burgess, Crisis Assistance client who has been impacted by eviction twice in Mecklenburg County

UNC Charlotte Urban Institute Reports on Charlotte-Mecklenburg Evictions:

Report 1: An Introduction to Evictions

Report 2: Mapping Evictions

Report 3: One-Month Snapshot of Eviction Court Records

Erin Keever is Senior Producer of WFAE's Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. She has been with the show since joining the station in 2006. She's a native Charlottean.