Lack of Affordable Housing Pushing Wake County in the Wrong Direction on Homelessness

By Brent Woodcox

An important story from the News & Observer today...

The affordable housing crisis that is currently afflicting Wake County has also created a disturbing trend when it comes to homelessness as compared to the rest of the state.

Homelessness in North Carolina declined in 2017, according to an annual count. Wake County, however, saw its homeless population increase.

The numbers come from a point-in-time count of homeless people around the state on one night in January and were announced Wednesday. Homelessness in the state declined 6.2 percent from 2016 to 2017, and is down more than 26 percent from 2010.

More homeless people were counted in Wake County this year, with the total increasing about 8 percent to 884. ...

The reasons for the overall increase in Wake will be familiar to anyone following ongoing discussions about the need for affordable housing. Wake County grows by an average of 64 people per day, and housing in the county is becoming increasingly unaffordable for people with modest incomes.
— Lynn Bonner - N&O

Previously, Wake County has been listed as one of the worst areas in the country for economic mobility. And Raleigh has been found to be one of the worst cities in the country for housing inequality.

This trend is disturbing because the scope of the need for affordable housing is only increasing. With 150,000 new units needed in the area over the next 20 years, policymakers cannot delay in addressing the present crisis.

That's why I created this site. To advocate for an all-options-on-the-table approach to combating the affordable housing problem in our city and county.

It will take leaders in the areas of politics, business, non-profits and charities to fight this together to make sure our community digs out of this hole and sets a course for a better future.

In a time of tense political disagreement in our country, I truly believe that we can come together to meet this challenge and learn that we share more common goals for our community than the red vs. blue divide in our politics would suggest.

Here's to more conversations that lead to action in both the public and private sector to address these problems and to leaders willing to step up to meet this challenge.

Brent Woodcox