The Problem

1 Not a single U.S. county has enough affordable housing, Claire Groden
Jun 19, 2015

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The result? A growing number of households face either severe rent burdens totaling more than 50% of their incomes or severely inadequate housing. Those costs can affect residents’ quality of life in major ways—according to a 2014 report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, severely-cost burdened, low-income households spent 39% less on food and 65% less on healthcare each month than households in affordable housing.”1

“The availability of affordable housing isn’t keeping up with demand from extremely low-income renters, according to a new report by the Urban Institute.  In fact, not a single county in the United States can fill 100% of its low-income population’s need for safe, affordable housing. On average, there are only 28 adequate and affordable housing options for every 100 extremely low-income households, the report found.

Between 2000 and 2013, the number of extremely low-income households—which bring in an income at or below 30% of the area median—increased by 38%. Meanwhile, the availability of adequate housing for that income bracket increased by only 7%, Urban Institute found.1

While public assistance provides the bulk of that affordable housing, only a fraction of eligible households are able to benefit from the help. The rest are forced to stretch their thin wallets on the private market, where affordable housing is disappearing.