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American Indians and Alaska Natives in Urban Areas Experience Disproportionate Housing Challenges

A HUD report, Housing Needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives Living in Urban Areas, finds American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIANs) in metropolitan areas have a higher incidence of housing cost burdens, overcrowding, and other housing problems than the general metropolitan population. Sixty-five percent of AIAN individuals live in metropolitan areas, but few housing services are targeted to them.

The study examined housing conditions of AIAN households in 24 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). In the median MSA, 43% of AIAN households were cost-burdened, paying more than 30% of their income on housing and utilities, compared to 37% of all households. The prevalence of cost burdens among AIAN households was lower than all households in only 5 of the 24 MSAs.

In the average MSA, 3% of AIAN households had incomplete plumbing, lacking hot and cold running water, a flush toilet, or a bathtub or shower, compared to 0.5% of all households. Among owner-occupied households, 3.6% of AIAN versus 0.4% of all households lacked complete plumbing. Among renter-households, 2% of AIAN versus less than 1% of all households lacked complete plumbing.

In the average MSA, 3% of AIAN households lacked a complete kitchen, missing a sink with a faucet, stove or cooking range, or refrigerator, compared to 0.7% of all households. Among owner-occupied households, 3% of AIAN versus less than 1% of all households lacked a complete kitchen. Among renter households, 2% of AIAN versus 1.5% of all households lacked a complete kitchen.

AIAN households in the sample MSAs were also more likely than all households to live in overcrowded housing with more than one occupant per room (10% vs. 4%).

The AIAN population was also disproportionately disadvantaged economically and educationally compared with the general population in the 24 MSAs. In the average MSA, the AIAN population had lower household income ($53,000 vs. $80,000), a higher poverty rate (24% vs. 13%), lower rates of employment (55% vs. 61%), and lower educational attainment (15% with at least a high school diploma vs. 24%). These factors indicate that the AIAN population may have a higher risk of homelessness. Interviewees indicated that the AIAN population was overrepresented in their communities’ homeless population in seven MSAs.

Housing Needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives in Urban Areas is one of five reports based on a congressionally mandated assessment of AIAN housing needs conducted between 2011 and 2016.

The report is based on interviews with staff from social service organizations serving the AIAN population and analysis of data from the decennial census, the American Community Survey (ACS), and the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA).

Housing Needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives in Urban Areas is available at: http://bit.ly/2kW8gQz