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Housing, energy costs contribute to high inflation rate


Local officials are responding to statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor showing that housing costs are playing a big part in keeping the nation’s inflation rate high.

Experts said overall housing prices rose half a percent from November to December in 2023, while the cost of homeownership is found to be roughly 25% of the nation's consumer price index. Additionally, experts said rising energy prices have added to the stress.

Tom Manning-Beavin is the President and CEO of Frontier Housing in Rowan County. He said it’s more difficult for mid- to low-income families in the community to cover housing costs now than it has been in previous years.

“The rapid increase in interest rates for conventional mortgage financing has also made everything tighter,” he said. “It has impacted the buying power that people have if their using a conventional mortgage product.”

Manning-Beavin said while his agency hasn’t necessarily seen an increase in need in the community, residents are still seeking their services.

“We’re seeing people contacting us for home repair needs, and a lot of the time, that has to do with the cost of heating their home and hoping that we could help them find a new way, either with more insulation or a more efficient heat source,” he said. “Also, we are seeing people contacting us about homeownership, and exploring whether or not there are less expensive housing options.”

More information on Frontier Housing and the services they provide can be found online.