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I can't afford to live here | An in-depth look at Charlotte's affordable housing crisis

Charlotte's affordable housing crisis didn't happen overnight. In fact, Charlotte has a history of broken promises and missed opportunities that led us here.

WCNC Staff

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By many accounts, Charlotte is as vibrant as ever. The Queen City is recognized as a great place to raise a family and start a business. 

But there's a growing problem that's putting it all at risk: the affordable housing crisis. 

Charlotte needs 34,000 affordable housing units to meet the demand of its population. That's nearly double the number from a decade ago, and it's a complex problem created by the city's own success.

To give you some perspective, local rents have climbed 45% since 2010. A person making $20 an hour would need to work 60 hours just to make enough to pay one month's average rent. And that doesn't include whatever is taken out of your paycheck. Approximately 46,000 people in Charlotte pay more than half of their income to rent; experts recommend paying no more than 30%.

Teachers, police officers and firefighters, the people who are the heat of a community, are working full-time but still having a hard time buying a home, but low inventory and high prices aren't the only enemies in their struggle.