Affordable housing crisis hits millennials hardest, some say

CHARLOTTE — Many millennials want to get off on the right foot by going to school, finding a job, buying a home and starting a family.

It’s difficult to get life going with one financial crisis after another: post-9/11 economy, the recession and now, the coronavirus pandemic.

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One of the big credit reporting agencies, TransUnion, recently did a study and found that out of everyone struggling financially now, millennials have it the hardest. It reported 61% of millennials couldn’t pay for shelter, as compared to 57% for other age groups.

The study concluded 48% of millennials “have seen their work hours reduced,” compared to 32% for everyone else.

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“I had a franchise of college nannies, sitters and tutors, said Dominique Rice, 30, who is a millennial and an entrepreneur. “So I sold that last year. And I do consulting, so I help small businesses grow in scale."

She added, "We’ve had ups and downs over the last eight years in business, but I’ve never experienced anything like this."

She lives just outside of uptown Charlotte in a trendy new apartment building, which she was able to afford until recently.

"It’s really hard right now," Rice said. "My life direction has been inspired by the recessions. You want to be as safe as possible."

Others have similar stories they shared with Action 9’s Jason Stoogenke on Facebook.

Marissa Prince, 31 of Kings Mountain, still has a job but is having trouble paying rent.

A 25-year-old married woman wrote that she and her husband have, “always been on time with rent but can’t afford to stay with our unemployment amounts we receive.”

Rice was worried about affording her rent, so she said she talked to her landlord about a payment plan and it worked.

"My apartment complex has been really flexible, and they set up payment options with limited or no fees. They’ve been really, really understanding," she said.

Stoogenke asked if her landlord wasn't so understanding, whether she'd be able to handle it.

“No. I couldn’t handle it on time. No,” she told him.