State and City Funded Rental Housing Programs

Despite evidence of extensive need for more rental housing that is affordable for low income households, the low income housing resources provided by the federal government help only about 25% of eligible households. Moreover, these programs have been subjected to deep budget cuts in recent years. With assistance from the federal government shrinking, state and city governments offer some assistance, but the response is uneven and inadequate.

In order to understand the degree to which state and some city governments spend their own resources on affordable rental housing, NLIHC has attempted to catalog such programs that states and some cities have established. Two studies conducted in 2001 and 2008 looked at state funded rental assistance and were published as hard copy reports. They can be found on line at and  

In 2014, NLIHC undertook an expanded study to uncover and make public the extent to which states and the largest U.S. cities use their own revenues to fund low income rental housing programs, separate and apart from any federal funds they receive. We looked at all states and 70 cities (50 largest U.S. cities and largest cities in states without one of the 50 U.S. largest cities). We found a total of 313 active programs - 242 state programs and 71 city programs. We also looked beyond rental assistance and included capital and production programs as well. We have classified the programs as rental assistance or capital and production, or both.

The 313 programs can be found in this first-of-its-kind database

Help us...The National Low Income Housing Coalition collects and provides these data as a public service. NLIHC will continue to update the database. The data are based on information provided to NLIHC by the programs' administrators and user submissions. We urge users to help us keep the database current and accurate. Please share any information on a new program or an update or correction on an existing program by using the "Report an Update" feature within the database, or by emailing [email protected].

This research is made possible by the generous support of The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Reports on State-Funded Rental Assistance Programs:

A Patchwork of Small Measures (March 2001)

Housing Assistance for Low Income Households (October 2008)