The Urban Institute released an updated map showing the gap between the need for and availability of housing affordable to extremely low income (ELI) renters. Using 2013 data from the American Community Survey (ACS) Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS), the map compares the number of ELI renter households with the number of adequate, affordable, and available units by county. The map is accompanied by a report on trends in affordable housing for ELI renter households that shows there is not a single county nationwide that has enough housing for all ELI renters.
The report compares data from the 2000 Census to averaged data from the 2011, 2012, and 2013 ACS estimates. Between 2000 and the 2011-2013 time period, the number of ELI renter households increased 38%, from 8.2 million to 11.3 million. At the same time, the supply of adequate, affordable, and available rental units rose by only 7%, from 3 million to 3.2 million.
Drawing on HUD data from the Tenant Rental Assistance Certification System, researchers found that between 2000 and 2013 the number of HUD-assisted units for every 100 ELI renter households rose from 21 to 23. However, the number of unassisted units fell from 16 to 5 for every 100 ELI renter households. While federal programs add much needed affordable housing to the market, the assisted units are insufficient to make up for the losses of unassisted affordable units. As a result, the number of adequate, affordable, and available rental units for every 100 ELI renter households declined from 37 to 28.
Seventy-five percent of all households (3.4 million) receiving federal housing assistance through Housing Choice Vouchers, Public Housing, Section 8 Multifamily housing, or other HUD programs are ELI. However, federal housing assistance does not guarantee affordability; therefore, 26% of HUD-assisted ELI renters are cost burdened, spending more than 30% of their income on rent and utilities.
The report focuses on housing affordability for ELI households across the 100 largest U.S. counties. Suffolk County, MA leads the nation with the greatest number of adequate, affordable, and available units for ELI renters, but only has enough to serve 51% of its ELI renter households. Denton County, TX has the greatest gap, with just eight units of adequate, affordable, and available units for every 100 ELI renters.
The Urban Institute’s updated map is at http://datatools.urban.org/features/rental-housing-crisis-map
The report, titled The Housing Affordability Gap for Extremely Low Income Renters in 2013, is at http://www.urban.org/research/publication/housing-affordability-gap-extremely-low-income-renters-2013