Page 17 - THE GAP: The Affordable Housing Gap Analysis 2019
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THE GAP private market to serve middle-income renters (Axel-Lute, 2017; Jacobus, 2017). Reducing the local barriers to the production of multifamily housing through reform of local zoning and upscale design standards could result in a greater supply of housing and alleviate rent pressures in the market for households with moderate incomes.  ese reforms alone, however, will not su ciently improve the ability of extremely low-income renters to a ord the rents landlords need to operate and adequately maintain housing. FEDERALPOLICYSOLUTIONS FOR THE LOWEST INCOME PEOPLE A signi cant and sustained A SHORTAGE OF AFFORDABLE HOMES, 2019 federal commitment to a ordable housing programs targeted to meet the a ordability needs of the lowest-income families is necessary, including a large investment in the national Housing Trust Fund (HTF). First funded in 2016, the HTF is an annual block grant to states for the creation, preservation, or rehabilitation of rental housing for the lowest-income renters.  e distribution of HTF funds is determined by the shortage of rental housing a ordable and available to extremely low-income and very low-income renters and the extent to which these renters are severely housing cost-burdened. At least 90% of HTF funds must be used for rental housing and at least 75% of the funds for rental housing must bene t extremely low-income households; 100% of HTF funds must bene t extremely low-income households while the HTF is capitalized under $1 billion per year. A review of the  rst projects awarded HTF money indicate that the new program provides homes for some of the most vulnerable people, including people experiencing homelessness, people with disabilities, and seniors (NLIHC, 2018c). NATIONAL LOW INCOME HOUSING COALITION 13 A signi cant and sustained federal commitment to affordable housing programs targeted to meet the affordability needs of the lowest- income families is necessary Expanded rental assistance like the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program is a substantial component of any strategy to address the severe housing shortage and instability faced by extremely low- income renters. Seventy-three percent of current HCV recipients are extremely low-income (HUD, 2018). Voucher recipients  nd rental housing in the private-market and contribute 30% of their adjusted gross incomes toward housing costs.  e voucher pays the remaining costs up to the local housing agency’s payment standard. Vouchers typically cost less than new production, making them an e cient and e ective form of housing assistance in markets with an abundant supply of vacant, physically adequate housing that the lowest-income renters cannot a ord without help. A ban on discrimination against voucher holders by landlords would improve the e ectiveness of this rental assistance. We must also protect the existing supply of a ordable homes for the poorest renters. Signi cant capital investment is needed for the rehabilitation and preservation of public housing, which provides a stable home to some of the country’s most vulnerable renters. Seventy- one percent of households living in public housing are extremely low-income.  e average annual household income of public housing residents is $14,753 (HUD, 2018). Public housing provides a deep subsidy to these households: their contributions toward rent are 30% of their adjusted gross incomes with a congressionally appropriated Public Housing Operating Fund covering the remaining operating costs. A Public Housing Capital fund is appropriated for capital improvements, but, due to decades of declining Capital funds, the public housing stock faces a backlog of capital repair needs of as much as $53 billion, threatening the quality and even the existence of these homes (NLIHC, 2018e). 

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