March 18, 2019 – NLIHC released its annual report, The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes, which finds a shortage of seven million affordable and available rental homes for extremely low-income renters, those with household incomes at or below the poverty level or 30% of their area median income. The report calls for increasing investments in housing solutions for the lowest-income people such as the national Housing Trust Fund, Housing Choice Vouchers, and public housing; protecting the existing supply of affordable homes; expanding and improving the Low Income Housing Tax Credit so it serves more of the lowest-income families; and implementing a renters’ tax credit that targets low-income renters.
This year’s report finds fewer than four rental homes affordable and available for every 10 extremely low-income renter households nationwide. No state or major metropolitan areas has an adequate supply of rental housing for the poorest renters. As a result of this shortage of affordable homes, 71% of extremely low-income renter households are severely housing cost-burdened, spending more than half of their limited incomes on housing. They account for nearly 73% of all severely cost-burdened renters in the U.S.
The vast majority of extremely low-income renters are seniors, people with disabilities, or people who are working, enrolled in school, or caring for a young child or for a household member with a disability. Twenty-six percent of extremely low-income renter households are seniors, 22% are a householder with a disability, and 39% are in in the labor force. The wages of those who are working are often too low to afford rent without assistance.
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The full report and interactive map are available at: https://reports.nlihc.org/gap
CityLab published today an op-ed by NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel about the findings in The Gap. The op-ed also included a preview of results from the Opportunity Starts at Home national opinion poll on housing affordability that will be unveiled at NLIHC’s Housing Policy Forum: Seizing the Moment for Bold Solutions on March 28.
“According to the results of a forthcoming public opinion poll we commissioned, the vast majority of Americans (85 percent) believe that ensuring everyone has a safe, decent, affordable place to live should be a ‘top national priority’.”
Read Diane’s op-ed, “The Affordable Home Crisis Continues, But Bold New Plans May Help,” at: https://bit.ly/2u7SYin