Charlotte Renters Experiencing Lease Renewal Sticker Shock

CHARLOTTE, NC – Rising rents are forcing people and their budgets to the brink. Some people in Charlotte are looking for ways to make ends meet as rent renewals show a 20 to 30 percent increase.

“I just got my renewal for almost 150 dollars [more per month]” said one South End renter.

She says some people in her building received renewal notices for more than $200 a month.

“Which is insane,” said the tenant, “I’m having to get a roommate to help with that additional income.”

“It is nearly impossible even if you have a housing voucher to receive housing in the city at this time,” said Kenneth Robinson.

Robinson is the Founder and Executive Director at Freedom Fighting Missionaries. He helps mostly single mothers with children find housing.

“Unfortunately, people are being forced to consider moving outside of Charlotte and moving to places like Gaston county and Iredell county and the outskirts,” said Robinson.

Charlotte isn’t alone when it comes to rising rates. Across the country it’s an issue.

According to Apartment List, rates across the country have increased by nearly 1% in just that last month. And rates are up more than 17% year over year.

“It’s a tough situation for low income renters,” explained Juan Hernandez, an Attorney with the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy.

He says people living on a fixed income may be faced with few options, including moving out of the city or staying with relatives.

“These are folks who that 20 to 25 percent rent increase is really going to force them on the brink of homelessness,” said Hernandez.

While some are pushing for the city of Charlotte to increase affordable housing availability; there isn’t much that can be done for market rate housing.

In North Carolina, it is illegal for any municipality to institute any sort of rent control measure.