On March 10, NLIHC released the report, Housing Spotlight: Affordable Housing is Nowhere to be Found for Millions, which shows that the supply of affordable rental housing for the lowest income households remains inadequate across all states and the 50 most populous metropolitan areas. There were only 31 rental homes affordable and available for every 100 extremely low income (ELI) households in the U.S. in 2013. ELI households have incomes at or below 30% of the area median income. This gap analysis is based on 2013 American Community Survey, which provides the most recent available data.
In 2013, there were 10.3 million ELI renter households in the country, making up 24% of the entire renter household population, but there were just 3.2 million units affordable and available to them. This means that nationwide, there was a deficit of 7.1 million rental units affordable and available to ELI households.
As with last year’s gap analysis, NLIHC also reports on the housing shortage for households with incomes at or below 15% AMI, an income category that NLIHC has dubbed “deeply low income.” This group includes people whose only income is Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or low levels of Social Security, either retirement or disability income (SSDI). In 2013, there were 4.1 million DLI households and only 2.36 million units of rental housing that they could afford. For every 100 DLI household, there were just 17 affordable and available units.
While the shortage of affordable and affordable rental homes for ELI households did not change between 2012 and 2013, the shortage for DLI households improved slightly.
The extent of the problem varied greatly from state to state, but no state had more than 56 units of rental housing affordable and available for every 100 extremely low income households. The states with the fewest units were Nevada (15), California (21), Arizona (22), Oregon (22), Florida (23), Colorado (24), and Utah (24). The states with the most rental units affordable and available to extremely low income households were South Dakota (56) and Wyoming (55). In every state, at least 60% of all extremely low income renters spent more than half of their income on housing costs.
Along with national and state data, NLIHC also presents information on the shortage of affordable and available rental housing in the 50 metropolitan areas with the largest renter populations. Twenty-nine of these metropolitan areas had 30 or fewer affordable and available units for every 100 extremely low income renter households. The Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise metro area in Nevada had the greatest need, with just 10 affordable and available units for every 100 extremely low income renter households. No metro area had more than 47 affordable and available units for every 100 extremely low income renter households.
“This country has been neglecting the housing needs of extremely low income households for far too long, and as a result we need more than 7 million affordable units to meet the current demand,” said NLIHC President and CEO, Sheila Crowley, in a press release. For the first time in decades, the federal government will invest funds in the creation of rental units explicitly for ELI households through the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF). The NHTF will begin distributing money to states in 2016. “Funds from the NHTF will help,” Ms. Crowley continued, “and we’re thrilled that this much anticipated fund is finally receiving revenue, but the first year of revenue will be small, so it’s critical that we make a larger commitment to solving this problem.”
The Housing Spotlight is at http://nlihc.org/article/housing-spotlight-volume-5-issue-1