In Durham and around the country, thousands of individuals face homelessness every day. 2019 Data from Habitat for Humanity claims that 37.1 million households, or 30.2% of households in the United States alone, are "housing burdened," spending 30% or more of their income on housing. Housing insecurity or instability, as defined by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., relies on several factors including high housing cost, poor housing quality, unstable neighborhoods, overcrowding, and homelessness.
This project investigates the causes and effects of housing insecurity in Durham, NC. With particular focus on data released to the COVID-19 pandemic that exacerbated existing housing insecurities.
It concludes that the following would be appropriate solutions to the housing crisis in Durham: 1. the development of affordable housing, 2. the formalization of the status of landlord, and 3. continued educational outreach
Development of More Affordable Housing
$95 million was allocated for the development of housing for low-moderate income residents. This includes the construction of 1,600 affordable housing units, and aid to 3,000 low-income renters or homeowners to remain in or improve their homes.
Formalization of the Status of Landlord
Currently, landlords in the county are able to exercise unruly and arbitrary power over tenants outside the restraints of laws. This solution would create more checks on the position of landloard, such as Housing Authority inspections and continued governmental intervention on behalf of both the landloard and tenant.
Continued Educational Outreach
Durham City and County should continue to strengthen housing educational initiatives, rather than responding to the need as the cases arise. The legal jargon surrounding housing cases make much of the information inaccessible to many residents.