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Solutions City: Charlotte has a housing problem. What do other cities do? 


If you’ve called Charlotte home since the years that surrounded the turn of the 21st century, you’ll remember when affordable housing wasn’t at the crisis level it is today. While unkept promises of mixed-income housing in the city stretches back to 1960s urban renewal, there was rarely a time or a street that didn’t have plenty of houses up for sale.

From budget-minded fixer uppers to mansion-sized turn-keys, Charlotte had no shortage of housing stock. And if you didn’t have the money to buy a home, you could opt to rent, which usually came at a much cheaper price.

Those days are long gone now. 

Both racism and corporate profiteering pushed us here. 

Close to half of all people renting in Mecklenburg County are — quite literally — cost-burdened, meaning more than one-third of their income is spent on the basics to live: housing and utility bills. For those who own or are buying, they’re competing (and usually losing) with Wall Street-funded investors for properties with inflated price tags, in increasingly racially segregated neighborhoods. From where we live to where our kids go to school, racism’s role in Charlotte’s neighborhood — particularly the effects of redlining  — remain our present.

Then there’s sheer economic forces.


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