New report unveils insights into Wake County’s housing issues and solutions

Today, the Wake County Housing Affordability and Community Revitalization Department officially rolls out its 2023 Annual Housing Report for Wake County. This comprehensive report provides a detailed analysis of the current state of housing issues facing our community, and offers valuable insights for residents, policymakers and industry professionals.

“This report is not just a collection of statistics, but a powerful tool that promises to reshape the way we perceive, plan and engage with housing in Wake County,” said Wake County Board of Commissioners Chair Shinica Thomas. “The work that has gone into this report provides a visionary roadmap for the county's future as it relates to ensuring everyone has a safe, stable roof over their heads.”

The information compiled takes a critical look at each component of the affordable housing crisis in Wake County and examines the award-winning initiatives that bring our community closer to safe, affordable housing for everyone.

Key highlights from the report include:

  • Wake County has created or preserved more than 3,500 homes since 2019; however, an affordable housing deficit of 65,860 units still exists.
  • There is an uptick in both eviction notices and court issued evictions, approaching pre-pandemic figures.
  • It’s estimated that around 916 people experience literal homelessness on any given night in Wake County.
  • Wake County holds the honor of more than 55,000 veterans living in our communities, more than any other county in North Carolina. Approximately 125 of these veterans experience homelessness each year, with 56% experiencing long term or chronic homelessness.
  • In 2021 Wake County invested $20.6 million in affordable housing which yielded 1,032 housing units; equaling about $20,000 per unit.
  • In 2023, Wake County initially received funding requests totaling $26.9 million to fund the development of 902 units, or $29,900 per unit. To support the requests, Wake County would need to spend an additional $6.3 million to support 130 fewer units than in our most productive year.

To address these housing affordability challenges, Wake County has launched several groundbreaking initiatives to increase affordable housing and end homelessness.

“Through award-winning programs like the Bridge to Home Program, Landlord Engagement Unit, Wake Prevent! and the Affordable Housing Preservation Fund, Wake is absolutely leading the charge in investments and innovation,” said Lorena McDowell, Wake County Housing Affordability and Community Revitalization Department Director. “These programs and their impact are highlighted throughout the report and underscores our team's dedication to getting help for those who need it most."

Following this report, the Housing team will create a series of “Housing Report Shorts” which will expand on areas like affordable housing development, homelessness and equity. The first issue, the Unsheltered Facility Study, will be released later this year.

The full report can be found here.

Press Release