NLIHC released its annual report, The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes, on March 16. This year’s report finds that the lowest-income renters in the U.S. face a shortage of 7.3 million affordable and available rental homes. Between 2019 and 2021, this shortage increased by more than 500,000 rental homes, as the number of renters with extremely low incomes increased while the supply of housing affordable to them declined. The report calls for greater federal investment in the preservation and expansion of the affordable housing stock, more Housing Choice Vouchers, a national housing stabilization fund for renters who experience an unexpected short-term financial shock, and federal tenant protections. Read the report here.
Just 33 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. As a result of this shortage of affordable homes, 73% of extremely low-income renter households are severely housing cost-burdened, spending more than half of their limited incomes on housing. They account for more than seven of every 10 severely housing cost-burdened renters in the U.S.
The report discusses the necessity of local zoning and land use reform to address the shortage of affordable rental housing. However, these efforts on their own, and without significant federal investments in housing assistance, are insufficient to correct the problem. Congress must make sustained investments in deeply income-targeted programs such as the national Housing Trust Fund, Housing Choice Vouchers, and public housing.
The full Gap report and interactive map are available at: https://nlihc.org/gap