As Wall Street of the South booms, strains seen on Charlotte

Not everybody in Charlotte, North Carolina, is celebrating an expected influx of workers with the newly announced merger of BB&T and SunTrust Banks. Ray McKinnon, a local pastor, is bracing for the city’s housing shortage to get worse.

Charlotte, the banking capital of the U.S. South, is a victim of its own success, said McKinnon, who is a commissioner with the Charlotte Housing Authority. House prices in the area, already home to Bank of America and Wells Fargo’s East Coast hub, have jumped almost 50% since 2012 and rents downtown have soared as millennials flood in for the mild climate and plentiful job opportunities.

“Charlotte has never met a merger it didn’t like,” McKinnon said. “But I don’t think city officials should celebrate until they figure out how to protect the most vulnerable.”

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Shelly Jo Jacobs

Author: Shelly Jo Jacobs