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The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes

 It’s no secret that the demand for quality, affordable rental housing far exceeds the national supply. For low-income and extremely low-income renters, this shortage is nothing less than a crisis. Families with limited economic means must either settle for lower-quality housing or spend far more than 30% of their income on housing costs. For many families, both of these conditions are true.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) takes a yearly look at the supply of rental housing affordable to extremely low-income renters (defined by the federal government as households with income at or below the Poverty Guideline or 30% of their Area Median Income, whichever is greater). In their affordable housing gap analysis for 2017, NLIHC researchers looking at housing affordable to renters at different income levels nationwide, in every state and in the 50 largest metro areas.

This year’s study found:

  • More than a quarter of U.S. renter households qualify as Extremely Low Income (ELI)
  • ELI renter households face a larger shortage of affordable, available rental housing than any other income group. They also are the most cost-burdened, paying a higher proportion of their income for housing costs than any other group.
  • ELI renter households face housing shortages in every state in the union and every major metropolitan area.
  • Federal subsidies used to incentivize affordable housing development, such as the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, HOME Investment Partnerships Program and Affordable Housing Program, typically do not create large numbers of units affordable to ELI renters.

 The study’s authors urge greater investment in the production of housing affordable to ELI renters, offering policy guidance on specific tax reforms and public funding that could help fund the cost of such production.

The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes

Posted in Affordable Housing

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