• Evictions affect tenants' credit, as well as physical, mental health, expert says

    By: Mark Becker

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A new report shows the number of Charlotte families getting evicted is decreasing but the problem is spreading to neighborhoods across the county, which has a lasting impact on those families.

    Tamara, her fiancée and daughter were evicted from their apartment and it damaged her credit rating.

    “It's hard when you work a good job, you pay your bills, keep your credit stable and then you can't live in certain areas or certain apartments or houses, or even get a house,” Tamara, who did not want to provide her last name, said.

    Stories like Tamara's echo through the new report by UNC-Charlotte's Urban Institute that show, while the number of evictions in Mecklenburg County has dropped over the last five years, some of those pockets of poverty have pushed away from the center of the city to the outer edges of the county.

    “Evictions are the ultimate point of housing instability, in that, it's a person has to move and relocate,” said Ashley Williams-Carter, with the UNCC Urban Institute.

    Williams-Carter helped write the study and said eviction patterns are one measure of a community's health or its struggles.

    She said that when people are evicted, it affects their physical and mental health, how kids do in school and more.

    “So, if we have this number of people who aren't being safely housed, that has an impact on those individuals but on the community as a whole,” she said. “Everyone needs affordable housing.”

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