The need for affordable housing for veterans is far-reaching. It affects the unattached vet looking for an apartment to rent as much as it does the one looking to buy a house for their family. Unfortunately, with rental home prices increasing by 18% over the last year and the price of for-sale houses by 25%, it is no wonder that veterans are battling to remain housed. Although living in Charlotte does offer vets several benefits, these housing concerns make it necessary to have either a good career or a substantial amount of savings available to enjoy a good quality of living.
New Vets Face Multiple Obstacles
Vets from all walks of life come to Charlotte in search of affordable housing. Even those who sport both an education and work experience often cannot afford the exorbitant rates. The affordable houses and apartments that do become available are snapped up at lightning speed, often before an interested vet is even able to express their interest. Many younger veterans end up living with friends or distant family members when they move to a new city. Unfortunately, these arrangements are often short-lived and the veteran once again finds themself looking for housing. It is important that vets looking to relocate to a new city know that they need to start looking for housing months in advance as it is very unlikely that they will find something at the drop of a hat.
Limited Resources are Available
At present, the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program that is administered by the Veteran Services of the Carolinas and Catholic Charities assists qualifying veterans with paying the first month’s rent or a deposit on a house. Additionally, the VBH works alongside realtors who are certified to deal with military relocations to assist veterans in finding affordable, secure housing. Other providers of housing such as the Salvation Army, Roof Above, and Family Forum also provide housing and shelter on a temporary or contract basis. Injured veterans who qualify for disability benefits may want to enlist the services of a reputable military attorney who can help them maximize their disability benefits which, in turn, can aid in buying a house.
Homelessness Remains on the Decrease
Despite affordable housing being so hard to come by, the number of homeless veterans in Charlotte has decreased from around 300 in 2018 to approximately 188 earlier this year. Although many naysayers are of the opinion that the decrease can be attributed to fewer vets actually wanting to live in Charlotte, it declining numbers do look hopeful. Initially, there was only one organization administering the SSVF grant program. As mentioned, the Veterans Services of the Carolinas has recently been joined by the Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte which is doing wonderful work among veterans. It is largely due to the teamwork between these two organizations that the homelessness rate has decreased to such an extent.
Affordable housing for veterans remains a big concern in Charlotte. Thankfully, there are several organizations that work tirelessly to help put roofs over the heads of the city’s vets.