Mayor Lyles on Homelessness and the Affordable Housing Crisis in Charlotte, North Carolina
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Mayor Lyles on Homelessness and the Affordable Housing Crisis in Charlotte, North Carolina

– Hi everybody, I’m here in Charlotte, and I’m with Mayor Lyles,
and today we’re gonna talk about homelessness and affordable housing. Can you tell me a little bit about homelessness here in Charlotte? – I expect that in Charlotte you see what you see in other urban communities. As the world begins to change
and people don’t find jobs in the rural areas or they
come to the urban areas, and I think most people come with a really great, positive intent. I’m going to get a job, I’m
going to be able to live here, but in some cases that doesn’t happen. What I like to think
about is homelessness is really kind of a spiral. When you start out with
I’ve got everything, and then the next thing
you know you’re in the car, and the next thing there’s no car, and then you’re just in a situation where you’re in a shelter. We see that in our city. We’re a growing,
southeastern city, sunbelt, and we are seeing people come here, and homelessness is a result
and part of our natural growth. I’ve worked on housing and
homelessness since 1975 when we had a court order
to deal with urban renewal, and for me to sit here many years later and still be talking about
this means that this problem is very, very difficult for
urban areas to solve. And even with solving it, it often just means that
there is a spotlight where people are still looking
for the ability to live and sometimes they can’t achieve that. – From my understanding,
Charlotte’s growing. You have a lot of people coming here, and it’s the same problem in many cities where you’re seeing this economic growth, but it’s also driving up housing costs. And the lack of affordable housing is right now the leading
cause in homelessness. – I do think the lack
of affordable housing is the leading cause of homelessness, but I like to also think it’s
because of the wage and equity that we have in this country. And many times, you can be the
hardest worker in the world, you can be one of the
smartest people in the world, but if you can’t get a job that helps with covering the cost of
housing and healthcare, you can often end up homeless. I’ve seen examples. This past year, we had an example of a young man going to work
every night in a restaurant and going home to a tent outside, and it wasn’t because he wasn’t
industrious and didn’t want. It was because there was not enough money in the eight dollar an hour
jobs in a city that’s like ours where we’re a high tech, financial center, and we’re building great apartments for the millennials that
are coming with skills. A lot of the technology
skills, the financing skills, or they’re coming with the
ability to get that job. If you’re coming here
and you didn’t graduate from high school or you work in the hospitality industry
often, in healthcare often, that will make it very hard for you. We’ve got rents that
start at studio at $1100 when we know that families
should be paying $600, $700. – And, it’s also affecting
the growing senior population. I’m 58; I lost everything
in the ’08 recession. And if I wasn’t doing this, it would be extremely
hard for me to get a job, and the Boomers are hitting
65 at 10,000 people a day, and that’s also putting
a tax on the safety net. – Well you liked another history, the idea that there
would be social security, but the idea with that was
that you would be able to work and own your home by the
time you got to that point, and that social security wasn’t
to cover the housing costs. It was to cover the cost of daily living. Well, right now that’s not the case. We know that many seniors have
worked for a very long time, and with the inflation
and the cost of living, there’s nothing compared that’s
gonna rescue social security and make it possible for
people to live in Charlotte. – And everywhere, as you said, and I hate this term, working homeless. There’s more and more people
that are living in tents or living in shelters that are
holding down full-time jobs but just cannot afford a place to live. – In Charlotte, one of the
travesties that we have is that we can people working one or two jobs and be paying more to weekly hotels than they would if they had a place that was affordable to live,
and that’s a consequence. Every action you take has a consequence, so we have children that the
buses for our school district, they have to go to all the
hotels to pick up kids. How do you create that
stability in a child’s life? So I think that when you get
to really know the homeless and the working poor population, it is because of our economy
and the way we’re structured that many of them are homeless. Now we’re trying to do something
about it here in Charlotte. I’m most proud of our city’s commitment. We had a bond referendum for
$50 million to create houses that people could live in affordably, and we had a 69% approval rating. That means people understand
that’s a problem in our city, and I’m really grateful that they are supportive of our initiatives. What I’ve learned as
mayor is you have to get the work done, no matter who caused it, no matter how much history’s behind it. You have to look at that problem today and focus and concentrate on it. So with that $50 million
of public bond funding for new housing, we went
to the private sector and said this our problem. This isn’t government’s problem. It is a community problem,
and we have been able with the private sector,
the philanthropic community, our faith communities
to have an additional $50 million to supplement
the money that we have. Every effort, all of us
need to be putting forth that effort, because
if we can do something about putting someone into a home, they have the ability to apply for a job, they have stability for their families, and we want that for everyone in our city. Charlotte can be that city. – And by housing people
at risk of being homeless or people that are out on
the streets chronic homeless, you actually save money, because there’s a reduction
of emergency services, hospital visits, police,
EMT, and as you said, by preventing homelessness
in the first place, getting kids some stability
in this crazy world of ours, it’s something we should be doing anyway, but it’s also fiscally smart. – It is. It’s been proven in every study that’s been ever done about
people that are on the street costing more for your police officers, costing more for your healthcare services. That’s just a basic premise. What I think we have to think about is when we are going to look
further down the road, are we doing something
that creates a community that’s inclusive and
welcoming of everyone? Or are we just saying
well, we’re gonna fix this little problem, but we
aren’t the kind of community that really changes lives? So getting the house
is just the small part. We’re trying to change people’s lives. – You get it. – Well, I hope so. – You do, and you said something I think that is really important, and where I’ve been seeing
communities have the most success is when
they get the business, philanthropic, faith-based
organizations and government. I mean, not everybody’s
gonna always agree, but if we pool our
resources and start working as a community and developing
community-wide solutions, that’s when we have impact
in ending homelessness. – It makes a real difference. We have a crisis assistance program that we’ve had for over 50
years in this community. We help people with their utility bills. We help them when perhaps
they’ve been laid off or their hours have been reduced to pay their rents or pay their mortgages. And we’ve been doing that for a long time, but when we looked at
our 10 year housing plan to address homelessness,
we saw that we were working with people that were just
always a little bit short because of the wages that they made, and then we had to really begin to think how are we gonna care for the homeless? And Charlotte’s faith
community has been tremendous. They provide shelters in the winter. Well, you can’t build shelters for the space and need,
especially in the winters, and they open their community centers, they open their gymnasiums,
and they bring people in, and they feed and they
have a place to sleep. Charlotte wants to be a place where when you come here and you’re homeless, that you’re not just getting
a roof over your head, but you’re also getting
services that would help, and that’s why we have coordinated effort with Urban Ministries,
our ministries program, as well as our Salvation Army. As I said, it’s about services, but you have to have a place
to be, a bed to sleep in, before you can start
talking about what’s next. – I’ve taken up enough of your time, and it sure is hot. – It is very hot in here.
– Oh my gosh! – It is a very hot time. – I occasionally go to
Winston-Salem from time to time, but I’ve never been
here during the summer, so this has been an experience for me. – Well, I grew up in
Columbia, South Carolina. It’s always 10 degrees
hotter than Charlotte, so I think I’m okay, but you know, we think about weather, and we
think about a lot of things. When I come into the office as mayor, I think about how do we make sure people have a place to live? How do we make sure that they
can have a place to work? And how do we move them around this city so that they can do that well? – I was gonna ask you
if you had anything else that you would like to add,
and that was a perfect closing. – Thank you for having me.
– Oh my gosh. – You talked about something that I’m proud of this community. I’m proud of my city,
Charlotte, and what we’re doing. – Well thank you for taking
time out of your busy day, and thanks all of you for watching. Down below there’s a
link for you to click on where you can contact your
state and federal legislators to tell them that ending homelessness and more affordable housing is a priority to you.
– Please. – Go to There’s a link down below. Please click on it; your voice matters. (upbeat techno music)

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62 thoughts on “Mayor Lyles on Homelessness and the Affordable Housing Crisis in Charlotte, North Carolina

  1. Your voice can help end homelessness. If we do not fix the affordable housing crisis, homelessness will continue to get worse. Click here to tweet, email, call, or Facebook your federal and state legislators to tell them ending homelessness and creating more affordable housing is a priority to you.

  2. joblessness and homelessness, it's like these undesirable things nobody wants to experience continues to exist for some unfortunate people. strange phenomena.

  3. So Mayors everywhere, why don't you repurpose the endless amount of buildings we see in cities everywhere, all over the country. And turn them into living spaces? Hmmmm? Alot of these folks would be willing to help with the refitting just for a place to lay their head and a bathroom. To much lip service and no action. Yet our Country has no problem sending myself and many others into action in other countries. To come home to no job, home and wife gone.

  4. It is far less expensive and much more productive, to simply give homeless folks a grant of about $10,000. That is how much it cost me to go from homeless in San Francisco to having my own stable home. I pay $500.03 a month lot rent and own my RV and my car. I expect my rent to increase to $550.03 in April 2019. I will likely begin to transition to living in my RV on the curb in front homes with extra green lawns. I'm tired of going without everything just to have a place to park. The oil and gas industry has over inflated rent prices in my area of Colorado. There two vacant lots next to me that have been paid for by the pipeline company. Paid to sit vacant all summer! Think about that. Folks here are begging for a legal RV living spot. Yet the pipeline can afford to rent the spots AND NOT USE THEM? Shameful.

  5. Why doesn't anyone want to mention that huge elephant in the room? You know the economy, ring a bell.OK I'll say it . The president has failed in every area, veterans, wages, education, infrastructure, mental illness and on and on and on.Why does the public keep propping him up?I like Mayor Vi Lyles. Too many are homeless in this whole country.Thanks

  6. '' homeless is just part of our natural growth ''. …. . Hmmm
    Sharing is loving
    Maybe we should share more ✌️📢

  7. Bonjour messieur,je me suis abonné en voyant une de vos vidéos,je l'avoue depuis mon attention est en berne,maïs une chose dont je suis sûre c'est que ce que vous faite est de l'or pour les âmes.
    Puisse le tout puissant vous donner force,et tout les attributs du coeur!

  8. AAAAWWWWWW SHIT! Check out Mark, hobb-knobbing with the Mayor. Next stop….THE GOVERNOR'S MANSION!! I'm very proud of you man. Look, I totally understand if you gotta cut ties with my controversial ass. The community needs a guy like you who can climb up to Mount Olympus and make the demi gods understand the suffering of the homeless.

    I'll always be there to cheer you on….even if from the shadows.

  9. Hey Mark I know this question isn't related to the video, so allow me to apologize in advance. My question is what are they getting wrong in Los Angeles? What should they do instead?

  10. Best way to relay this message is clearly with non aggression, non hostilities and with politeness. Because people will eventually see the presence of the devil if it's there. Showing short videos, shedding light on the ugliness, darkness and the nastiness of the joblessness and homelessness phenonena.

  11. Sir I would appreciate you talking to Gavin Newsom. It is a travesty the way the homeless are treated here in California.

  12. Wow bro I didn’t realize you were so close. I would have liked to hook up with you and just South of you about 30 minutes.ODAT brother

  13. Not sure how to fix the problem but to blame it on the job market is not the answer. Not all jobs are meant for adults who have a mortgage. Most positions in the hospitality field are meant for high school and college kids or a part time job. Not all but most. Chances are if you graduate high school get married and stay out of jail you will not be poor. Nothing bothers me more than hearing her say she received millions of dollars for homelessness. How much of that is going to get spent on beaurocricy and salaries? My guess is alot.
    I enjoy your videos keep it up and hopefully you can make a difference!!

  14. They could give government jobs to the homelless. Have them fill in pot holes cleanup areas .People should not live in areas they cant afford there are alot of cheap places to live. People should better themselves by going to school or get job training.People are not intendend to stay at low entry jobs.The young people need to get jobs and pay taxes.People should go into shelters get cleaned up and recieve services. and get a job.

  15. Seems to me shared housing, that is supervised if necessary, if we the people could trust each other enough, would solve the problem in about two seconds flat. The old saying two can live cheaper than one has always been true. Creating community is essential and I thank you for bringing this issue into the light.

  16. The local, state and federal governments have to want to stop homelessness instead of treating it as a big business. Just help people period.

  17. Since I saw a disabled woman 59 year old Anne wheeler suffer from neglect and died in a homeless shelter while crying please help me please help me for 3 weeks and getting an ambulance called on her I've been very interested in these shelters and have been going around are the western part of the United States even Hawaii checking them out. It is absolutely a holocaust on the poor everywhere boy. It's a Kinder gentler a form of eugenics then loading people up on a railroad car. It appears Kinder and gentler but they got these obsessed OCD insane Christians being cruel and heartless two poor people with no power. I'm at a place in Colorado now where a bona fide methamphetamine or cocaine addict is running the place people freeze to death here in the name of Jesus wow the person run in this shelter is snorting or smoking drugs in the back and then kicking them out

  18. So where I live, you may own your home outright, but the property taxes are more than half the annual social security check and pension. There's too much greed for the homelessness to be addressed.

  19. Good video. She seems like a nice woman. I pray your channel grows and flourishes for the good of the country and world! Mark you are a kind,humble man. God bless you!♡

  20. I am so thankful to God for a person like Brother Mark who cares about the Homelessness situation and their problems, I pray l can help him when l am healed from my broken leg. He I see about a group that l would love to help and become a part of, In His love, Sister Pansy C Miller from San Angelo, Texas

  21. I always asks why Can homeless people stay in these Houses That Famous people use in movies Because they dont use it anymore after the movie anyway So Why cant they not Help the homeless And Let them In Those Beautiful Homes

  22. This is an increasing problem around the country. The gap between the rich and poor is widening. I am having to fight every day to not end up homeless. Disability barely pays the rent. Don't know how those yuppies can sleep with themselves.

  23. Wealthy people needs to let the 4k $$$$ lux rentals remain vacant..Do your research first, Save up your money and find yourself a good area to live and work etc get a decent house, or apt. Live like the rest of us! There is a big misconception that all places in the USA cost 4 digit figures a month and that is so untrue… This way it will force these areas to become reasonable. This is what wealthy millenials can do to help out the rest of us. Just my three cents. 🇺🇸

  24. High rents ect all by design to push people into suicide or the street because you don't live long and this is happening all over Europe.

  25. Not sure if this will get seen by the owner of the page. But u can you please give an update on EJ if he is alive or not? Or in the military? I’m sure many people would enjoy The video.

  26. That’s exactly, why we need self sustainable off Grid earthhouses, worldwide, governments have to help people, building these. Then, all rudimentary needs are fulfilled and people can decide, whether they work more, to make luxury dreams come true, no problem at all. Solutions are there, just have to turn into reality.

  27. There is no end to the homeless crises, America continues to crumble while skyrocketing prices rise beyond average pay-grade. The bubble will burst very soon now, economic meltdown, collapse of quality life, fire and brimstone, order of the day.

  28. There are many things that could be improved upon. Such as, changing it to where elderly can own their own home and qualify for some of the assistance. It makes no since that they sell there home and move to a nursing facility when, nursing facilities cost 6000 a month.

  29. Why are we seeing luxury apartments being built that are being marketed $840s meaning $840,000 but no housing is being built for poor and destitute. C'mon if Singpore can solve it's housing crisis in 1956 why hasn't the U.S. realized that housing is essential need for it's citizens?

  30. what I am hearing is that some jobs are overpaid and real jobs are always underpaid. School is great to produce drones who think have a right to make more while taking advantage of people who perform useful jobs such as cleaning, construction, serving, etc. We need all kinds of people all kinds of jobs and it's not OK that we think it's OK to overpay some and underpay others. This is just capitalism at its best, it clearly doesn't work the way the system is exploited by the rich and some of the ones who aren't rich but know how to use the system. The secret is to pay less those public servants and reroute the money to create an infrastructure that is needed. There is enough for everyone's needs but not for everyone's greed. Plus, if everyone went vegan there wouldn't be all this pollution etc, people would actually be healthier, etc. but then all those in power wouldn't have the money they make by getting all those sick people in and addicts, because humans are naturally addicts so some of us just learn to become addicted to reading or good food but it's not easy because the whole world is built to make us chose the bad stuff, aka non vegan food, fast food etc. It's good someone is doing this, however, we need to amp up the problem to show the masses they should stop spending money on stupid movies and concerts and instead donate to things like this. It's a global issue and it sucks! For all the money one politician makes in a year think about how many people we could help…

  31. There is no affordable housing. Rents are ridiculous. You literally need thousands of dollars to get into an apartment. Jobs don’t pay you enough to cover rent plus regular living expenses. And don’t have kids.

  32. Sorry but it's extremely difficult for me to believe the millinials are so high tech and wealthy and well educated, they can throw our entire economy and housing into a tail spin. Raising the entire countries wage over building affordable housing in every city is ridiculous and unattainable. BUILD THE HOUSING!

  33. That was one of the best interviews on homelessness I've heard. She really explains the dynamics intelligently without casting shame or blame on the individuals affected by homelessness. Also she did not tie up addiction and homelessness and throw it in the ring as virtually every single politician has done and make THAT the prime focus. Getting so sick of that . Appreciate this video. Two thumbs up.

  34. Homelessness is not something to be sneezed at. A lot of people can say it's their choice but for many homeless people, it's not their choice even if many chose that. I have known people that are homeless and still work just because of the cost of living. Corporate greed. I don't see any leaders really doing enough to change this either. They can bla bla bla but still the same freaking chit happens over and over.

  35. What a beautiful and amazing woman! I think it's cool she is from Columbia originally 🙂 For me, watching this highlighted the generational split there can be, thinking about Millenials and tech (when she mentioned the tech industry, etc.). I'm a Gen-X-er (50) and though some of my best friends are "Millienials," there can be some differences in our expectations and life experiences based on what things were like growing up. Maybe this generation can help shift how we think about community. We have to create this shift. I love so much that you are showing some of the beauty of the Carolinas… we don't have a great reputation in the south but there is some big-heartedness.

  36. Healthcare and housing is owned by the insurance corporations and banks. They only want profit, before people. There's enough housing for everyone in this country but the banks keep the prices of rent and mortgages artificially inflated. Wages are not rising fast enough to keep up. The foreign real estate investors contributed to the high cost of housing too.

  37. I'm retired, and on social security. I retired in 2006. I worked for May Co, a Hugh retail corp, for 26 yrs. May Co went out of business, and Federated took over. I had stocks, that lasted about 8 yrs. Now I'm living on social security. I know that social security was always meant to be supplementary, but folks r living on it now, in their older yrs, more and more. It's a Hugh problem now, with the housing crisis all over the world now. The average waiting list, for senior housing, is 5 to 7 yrs. I live in Danbury, Ct. It's Fairfield County.

  38. Mark, I think this is one of the most uplifting videos you have ever done. Mayor Vi Lyles, as you said, "Gets it". Charlotte, North Carolina must have Angeles living there, 50 Million in Bonds with almost a 70% approval is amazing, but yet another 50 Million from the business and faith-based community is equally amazing. I hope and I bet it will be used to fully address Homelessness and not be allocated to other programs as other less dedicated City's might do because it seems this very issue has been on Mayor Lyles heart for a long time now. I was also amazed when she said she was working with homeless programs in 1975, what was she, 5 or 6 years old.

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