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Winston-Salem Poverty Thought Force Final Report



POVERTY THOUGHT FORCE FINAL REPORT _________________________________________________________________________________________________ Housing This report looks at the impact of housing on poverty in two ways. The first is homeownership. Sustainable homeownership can allow a person to build assets needed to increase financial sustainability. 19 Lack of affordable housing can negatively impact the poverty rate. Homeowners and renters who experience a housing burden are at risk of foreclosure or eviction and increased financial instability and hardship. Figure 20 (below) compares the homeownership rate in Winston-Salem with the United States, North Carolina, and peer cities across the country. • The homeownership rate for Winston-Salem in 2015 was significantly lower than the United States, North Carolina, and Forsyth County as a whole. American residents and Hispanic/Latino residents. • It is twice as likely that a resident who is White, non- Hispanic will own his or her own home versus a resident who is African-American. Figure 22 (below) compares housing burden of renters and owners between Winston-Salem, the United States, North Carolina, and peer cities. • In 2015 approximately 20% of homeowners and 47% of renters experienced a cost burden in Winston-Salem. • In 2015 the percentage of housing burdened, owner occupied units was significantly less in Winston-Salem than the United States as a whole and Roanoke. Homelessness The federal government defines homelessness as “individuals and families who live in a place not meant for human habitation (including on the streets or in their car), emergency shelter, transitional housing, and hotels paid for by a government or charitable organization.” 20 Numbers in this report are based on the annual Point in Time Count which occurs one night in January each year to count the number of homeless residents in shelters and on the streets. Figure 21 (above) looks at the difference between renters and owners by race and ethnicity in Winston-Salem. • In 2015 there was a significant difference in home ownership between residents who are White, non-Hispanic, and African 10

POVERTY THOUGHT FORCE FINAL REPORT _________________________________________________________________________________________________ Figure 23 (previous page) shows the rate of homelessness in Forsyth County as the number of homeless people during the Point in Time count per 10,000 residents from 1997 to 2015. • In 2015, 571 people were homeless, which means that 15 out of every 10,000 Forsyth County residents were homeless that night. • While there has been some fluctuation over time, there is not a statistically significant trend in the rate of homelessness from 1997 to 2015. • The rate of homelessness in Forsyth County in 2015 was statistically higher than that of 2003, 2008, 2009, and 2013 but not statistically different from any other years. • Non-Hispanic/Latino are more than five times as likely as Hispanic/Latino residents to be homeless. • African-American residents were almost four times as likely as white residents to be homeless. Figure 28 (below) shows the rates of homelessness for children and adults from 2008 to 2015. • In 2015, there were 94 homeless children and 477 homeless adults during the January count. • In 2015, children were significantly less likely to be homeless than adults. • Child homelessness increased from 2008 to 2010, and then decreased from 2010 to 2014 before increasing in 2015. • Adult homelessness in 2013 was significantly lower than other years, but that was the only year with a statistically different rate of adult homelessness. Food Insecurity Figure 24 (above) shows the rate of homelessness for Forsyth County residents by veteran status. • Veterans are nationally at a higher risk of homelessness 18,19 , and in 2015 veterans in Forsyth County were about 50% more likely to be homeless than non-veteran adults. Figure 25 (above) shows the rate of homelessness by gender. • Men and boys are about 70% more likely than women and girls to be homeless in Forsyth County. Defined as a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food, food insecurity affects millions of people nationwide. 20 Lack of adequate nutrition affects physical and mental development. 21 Food insecurity is closely related to poverty in that many neighborhoods experiencing hunger and low access to food are also those with low incomes. 22 Forsyth County residents have different options in accessing food. There are also government assistance programs designed to meet the needs of lower-income residents such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). Figures 26 and 27 (above) show the rate of homelessness by ethnicity and race. 11

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