Nationally, there is a shortage of more than 7 million affordable homes for our nation's 11 million-plus extremely low-income families.
Housing affordability is central to other national priorities, like health care, food security, education and more. Yet the gap between rents and incomes is growing, and this is compounded by unprecedented threats to federal housing assistance. Proven solutions to ending homelessness and housing instability exist – what’s missing is the political will to provide resources that will put these solutions into practice in communities across the nation.
There is no state or county where a renter working full-time at minimum wage can afford a two-bedroom apartment.
Seventy-five percent of all extremely low-income families are severely cost-burdened, paying more than half their income on rent.
This is a problem! Every state and every community is impacted. Families have few options. Each year the shortage gets worse, and that’s why people are homeless in our country and why families struggle to pay for groceries and visits to their doctor.
Housing is the key to reducing intergenerational poverty and increasing economic mobility.
Research shows that increasing access to affordable housing is the most cost-effective strategy for reducing childhood poverty and increasing economic mobility in the United States. Stanford economist Raj Chetty found that children who moved to lower poverty neighborhoods saw their earnings as adults increase by approximately 31%, an increased likelihood of living in better neighborhoods as adults, and a lowered likelihood of becoming a single parent. Moreover, children living in stable, affordable homes are more likely to thrive in school and have greater opportunities to learn inside and outside the classroom.
Increasing access to affordable housing bolsters economic growth.
Research shows that the shortage of affordable housing costs the American economy about $2 trillion a year in lower wages and productivity. Without affordable housing, families have constrained opportunities to increase earnings, causing slower GDP growth. In fact, researchers estimate that the growth in GDP between 1964 and 2009 would have been 13.5% higher if families had better access to affordable housing. This would have led to a $1.7 trillion increase in income or $8,775 in additional wages per worker.
Moreover, each dollar invested in affordable housing boosts local economies by leveraging public and private resources to generate income—including resident earnings and additional local tax revenue—and supports job creation and retention.