CHARLOTTE -- Homelessness is dropping in North Carolina. There's been a 6% decrease since last year and a 26 percent decrease since 2010, according to HUD.
But Charlotte may be on the brink of an upward spike in the homeless population.
"The solution to homelessness is housing,” said the executive director of Men’s Shelter of Charlotte, Liz Clasen-Kelly. “Seems obvious, in the name, but took us a while.”
321 men found homes with the shelter's help, last fiscal year. Another 330 are expected to find homes this fiscal year. And in the last 6 years, Clasen-Kelly said homelessness has dropped more than 20 percent in the city.
“And what we're finding is it's harder to get folks out of the shelter because there's just less affordable housing in our community,” Clasen-Kelly said.
Nationally, homelessness increased for the first time in seven years. The secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson, pointed to a, “severe shortage of affordable housing” in a statement. Adding, “We need to ease the pressure that is forcing too many of our neighbors into our shelters and onto our streets.”
“And I'm concerned we're going to see that trend in Charlotte,” Clasen-Kelly said.
Home prices in Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia rose by 7.1 percent year-over-year in October. Rising nearly one percent in October, Alone, according to Corelogic.
Despite the city's commitment to creating 5,000 affordable housing units; for, “very and extremely low-income households” there’s a more than 21,000 unit gap
Charlotte also faces the potential loss of more than 1,000 subsidized units with expiring federal subsidies.
“We're excited that our economy is thriving. But we have to make sure that it's thriving for everyone,” Clasen-Kelly said.