A University of North Carolina study says the rising cost of housing in some coastal areas means teachers, police officers and other so-called "essential workers" can't afford to live where they work.
The study was commissioned by the North Carolina Association of Community Development Corporations, which tries to help communities build their economies. It was presented today at the Statehouse by lawmakers who represent fast-growing areas where housing prices are a problem for low-paid workers.
The study focused on Brunswick County, where the median value of privately owned homes rose almost eight percent between 2000 and 2005. Rental rates rose more than five percent.
The average wage in the county for all occupations rose only two-and-a-half percent over the same period.