As Mecklenburg shelters in place, crowded housing conditions vary widely

Crowded housing Mecklenburg County
Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Mecklenburg County residents are directed to stay at home through a new proclamation Tuesday, in order to limit their social contacts and slow the spread of coronavirus.

But some residents could find that harder to do: The rate of crowded housing varies widely across the city of Charlotte and the rest of the county. 

Using a definition consistent with federal guidelines which defines crowding as more than one person per room in a housing unit, more than 9,000 households in Mecklenburg qualify as crowded. That is more than 2 percent of households in the county. The rate is well under 1 percent in census tracts in the generally more affluent Census tracts south of uptown and in the northern parts of the county. But in some Census tracts east, west and southwest of uptown, crowding rates run between 7 and 12 percent. 

Map: Katie Zager

Overall, a higher percentage of renter households are crowded, at nearly 4 percent. 

That could have implications for people sheltering at home if they have symptoms. It could be more difficult for residents to isolate themselves and reduce exposure to family members in order to keep them from getting sick. And crowding could also exacerbate stress for people in those households. 


Today @CharMeckEM announced a Stay-at-Home order for Mecklenburg County effective Thursday, 3/26 at 8 a.m.

The order requires County residents to remain in their homes for the next 21 days as part of an attempt to reduce the number of new COVID-19 infections.

— Mecklenburg County (@MeckCounty) March 24, 2020