North Carolina’s Triad region—including the cities of Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point—is the third-largest metro area in the state. Compared to the Triangle and Charlotte, however, the Triad hasn’t experienced such rapid population growth, and its population is less wealthy. Despite this, one-quarter of the Triad’s residents pay a disproportionate share of their income toward housing, and affordable housing has been an important election topic in Greensboro.
As the largest city in North Carolina, the Charlotte metro area stretches across 13 counties in two states. As the metro’s population has grown substantially over the past few decades, so have affordable housing pressures: HUD estimates that Charlotte needs 34,000 affordable housing units to meet demand, and over 32,000 households recently applied for the Charlotte Housing Authority’s Section 8 program.
The greater Triangle area—including the cities of Raleigh and Durham—is one of the fastest-growing metros in the county. Raleigh’s population increased 48% between 2000 and 2012, making it the fastest-growing city in the U.S. over that time. Affordable housing pressures have come with such strong population growth, and affordability was recently a campaign issue in both Raleigh and Chapel Hill. As the Triangle continues to grow, policy-makers, planners, and developers must work to ensure that its neighborhoods remain economically and socially integrated.