NLIHC’s The GAP Report gives us the Numbers on Housing Affordability


Posted On: April 10, 2019

Here are the key findings of NLIHC’s The Gap Report for 2018:

KEY FINDINGS OF THE REPORT INCLUDE:

  • The nation’s 11.2 million extremely low-income renter households account for 25.7% of all renter households and 9.5% of all households in the United States.
  • The U.S. has a shortage of more than 7.2 million rental homes affordable and available to extremely low-income renter households. Only 35 affordable and available rental homes exist for every 100 extremely low-income renter households.
  • Seventy-one percent of extremely low-income renter households are severely cost-burdened, spending more than half of their incomes on rent and utilities. They account for 72.7% of all severely cost-burdened renter households in the United States.
  • Thirty-two percent of very low income, 8% of low income, and 2.3% of middle-income renter households are severely cost-burdened (see Box 1).
  • Of the eight million severely cost-burdened extremely low-income renter households, 84% are seniors, persons with disabilities, or are in the labor force. Many others are enrolled in school or are single adults caring for a young child or a person with a disability.

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In addition to these drastic numbers, the numbers representing the amount of cost-burden households — that being households that cost 30% or more of the tenant/family’s household income — are nearly 9.7 million for extremely low-income renter households, 5 million for very low-income renter households, 4.1 million for low-income renter households, and 923,726 for middle-income renter households (Figure 4).

Some of you may be wondering what the difference in these terms, Extremely Low-Income, Very Low-Income, and Low-Income, are. So for the sake of making sure we’re all on the same page:

  • EXTREMELY LOW INCOME (ELI): Represents households with incomes at or below the Poverty Guideline or 30% of Area Median Income, whichever is higher.
  • VERY LOW INCOME (VLI): Represents households with incomes between ELI and 50% of Area Median Income.
  • LOW INCOME (LI): Represents households with incomes between 51% and 80% of Area Median Income.
  • MIDDLE INCOME (MI): Represents households with incomes between 81% and 100% of Area Median Income.
  • ABOVE MEDIAN INCOME: Represents households with incomes above 100% of Area Median Income.

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The shortage of affordable rental units becomes a surplus higher up the income ladder because households with more income can afford a wider range of housing prices (Figure 1).

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Higher income households can occupy rental homes in the private market that are affordable to lower-income households, making them unavailable for households with lower incomes. The figure below helps illustrate this:

Of the 7.5 million affordable rental homes for extremely low-income households, 3.5 million are occupied by higher-income households, making them unavailable to extremely low-income renters. As a result, four million affordable and available rental homes exist for the 11.2 million extremely low-income renter households. This results in a shortage of approximately 7.2 million affordable and available rental homes for extremely low-income households, or only 35 for every 100 extremely low-income renter households.

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In the report, the NLIHC gives the numbers of Rental Homes Affordable and Available per 100 Extremely Low-Income Renter Households listed by state. And here are the numbers presented for each of our four Performance-Based Contract Administrator (PBCA) states.

 

Read the complete NLIHC The Gap 2018 Report here.



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