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NLIHC Releases The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes

Report reveals a national shortage of 7.3 million homes affordable and available for extremely low-income renters

Washington, D.C. – NLIHC released today its annual report, The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes. Every year, the Gap report investigates the severe shortage of affordable rental homes available to extremely low-income families and individuals nationwide and in every state and metropolitan area. This year’s Gap finds that the lowest-income renters in the U.S. face a shortage of 7.3 million affordable and available rental homes. As a result, nearly three-quarters of renters with extremely low incomes are severely cost-burdened, spending more than half of their income on rent and accounting for nearly 70% of all severely cost-burdened renters in the U.S. The report calls for greater federal investments in the preservation and expansion of the affordable housing stock, more Housing Choice Vouchers to bridge the gap between renters’ incomes and rent, and emergency assistance for renters who experience an unexpected short-term financial shock.

“As this year’s Gap report shows, even with a strong economy and stabilizing rents, millions of the lowest-income and most marginalized households continue to face housing instability,” said NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel. “We know what works to end housing insecurity and homelessness – what we lack is the political will to invest in these solutions at the scale needed. More than ever, Congress should act quickly to enact bold legislation to ensure rental assistance is universally available, build and preserve homes affordable to people with the lowest incomes, create tools to prevent eviction and homelessness, and strengthen renter protections to keep renters stably housed.”

According to the report, just 34 affordable and available homes exist for every 100 renter households with extremely low incomes. This shortage impacts every state and the District of Columbia, resulting in widespread housing cost burdens. The states with the most severe shortages – Nevada, Arizona, California, Alaska, Florida, and Texas – have fewer than three affordable rental homes available for every 10 extremely low-income renters, with Nevada having fewer than two. Even states with the least severe shortages still have significant shortfalls, having fewer than six rental homes affordable and available for every 10 extremely low-income renters.

The 2024 Gap report concludes that the private market cannot adequately serve renters with extremely low incomes and that present funding for housing assistance is insufficient, creating a systemic national problem. Congress must make sustained investments in deeply income-targeted programs such as the national Housing Trust Fund, Housing Choice Vouchers, and public housing to address this significant gap in affordable rental housing.

View the complete Gap report and an interactive map at: