Red Cross Says Fire Victim Families Can’t Find Affordable Housing

UPDATE: On Thursday, Mayor Jennifer Roberts announced she will call on the City Council to increase affordable housing funding at the next council meeting.

Roberts released the following statement regarding affordable housing in Charlotte:

“Affordable housing is a crisis in Charlotte, and if we are sincere about solving this crisis, our actions as elected leaders must reflect our values,” said Roberts. “Our discussion Monday night showed there is support for innovative approaches to addressing this crisis. A well-prepared and collaborative discussion about funding sources for affordable housing is long overdue. I believe all options should be on the table.”


CHARLOTTE, NC– “There’s an entire population of working poor out there and this is something that we need to address as a community,” said Red Cross volunteer, Linda Fry.

Red Cross volunteer Linda Fry says they’ve been working around the clock to get more than 40 families. One hundred and forty people lost everything after the East Charlotte Woodscape apartments were set on fire. The problem is they were only paying about $400 to $500 dollars a month in rent.

“Private apartments, under $600, no we can’t find it, so some folks are having to cobble together their families,” said Fry.

Josefina Hernandez lives at Woodscape in a one bedroom, she says her family with three kids can’t afford anything else. Mayor Jennifer Roberts says the city held a forum Wednesday morning on how to work with new big developments to change this.

“We’re really encouraging 5 % or 8 %, the River district has made a commitment to do 8 % of their new housing as affordable and workforce housing,” said Mayor Roberts.

Mayor Roberts says the city is adding 5,000 units in three years as well. Something Fry says is overdue – considering these families work for a living but can’t find anywhere to live.

“They are not government dependent, no Section 8, no HUD nothing like that at all, they need private housing, they are working, they have jobs,” said Fry.