Nationally, a non-elderly adult with disabilities who relies on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) would need to pay 112% of their monthly income to be assured of finding a modest, affordable, one-bedroom apartment. Locally, without additional housing subsidy, there are few opportunities for these individuals to find affordable housing. Those are the top findings of the Priced Out in 2008 report, released this week by the Technical Assistance Collaborative and the Consortium of Citizens with disabilities.
The national average SSI payment in 2008 was $668 a month or $8,016 a year. Since 1998, the first time Priced Out was published, the value of SSI payments has fallen from 24% to 18% as a share of median income. With rising rents, the proportion of SSI income needed to rent a modest one-bedroom at the Fair Market rent has increased 62% from an already unaffordable 69% that first year.
The report also shows that even with state supplements to SSI income, the housing equation falls short. In Alaska, for example, where the payment is highest, $999 a month, people who rely on SSI still would have to pay 81% of their SSI income to afford the fair market rent for a one-bedroom. Along with state level comparisons, the report also provides similar comparisons for the major metropolitan areas within states.
Based on these results, the report provides a series of policy recommendations, including the creation of 5,000 new units of Section 811 permanent supportive housing each year through the passage of H.R. 1675, the Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act of 2009 (see Memo 3/27), 10,000 new Housing Choice Vouchers for people with disabilities, and at least $1 billion in funding for the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
The report will be released at 9 am on April 13, 2009, and can be found at www.tacinc.org/pubs/pricedout/2008.html.