‘The twilight zone’: Woman says she went from new Gastonia home to homelessness

GASTONIA, N.C. — The shortage of affordable housing in our area is an issue we’ve been investigating for years.

So what do we mean when we talk about affordability? Experts say you should be able to pay for the cost of your home while still having money left over for other necessities, like food or transportation.

The target is spending less than 30% of your income on housing. If it’s more than that, you are considered “cost-burdened.”

According to data from the North Carolina Housing Coalition, in Mecklenburg County, 31% of households are cost-burdened. That works out to more than 130,000 households. It’s a similar story in Gaston County, where 28% of households, more than 24,000, are cost-burdened.

For people in our area like Yolonda Cummings, the burden has become so great, it’s left them unable to afford a home at all.

Cummings was paying her own bill the last time she lived in the Wood Springs Suites. In 2018, she moved to Gastonia from Philadelphia while working to close on a new home.

Then things turned dramatically, and Cummings was left without a home to call her own.

“It was like I walked out of a good life and walked into the twilight zone,” Cummings said.

>> In the video at the top of the page, Channel 9′s Ken Lemon speaks with Cummings, who is now homeless, and shares her experience. She says she never thought this would be her story.

(WATCH BELOW: The Political Beat: Bringing affordable housing to Charlotte)

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