How do we solve Charlotte’s affordable housing shortage?

With Charlotte’s affordable housing shortage at an all-time high, more than 300 people gathered at Central Piedmont Community College Tuesday night to hear housing experts describe the immense social costs of the problem and discuss ways to solve it.

“Building Futures,” a symposium on affordable housing, was hosted by Habitat for Humanity Charlotte and the Foundation for the Carolinas. It comes amid reports that Charlotte needs about 34,000 additional affordable housing units. That’s about twice the deficit of a few years ago.

Children with unstable housing situations are more likely to have developmental delays, educational deficits and other problems, said Stephanie Ettinger de Cuba, research and policy director for Children’s HealthWatch in Boston. But “a stable, decent affordable home” she said, works like a vaccine, helping to inoculate children and benefiting society as well.