Report: No City or State in the U.S. Has Enough Housing for Low-Income Residents

"The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Rental Homes" illustrates the depth of the nation's rental housing affordability crisis.

2 minute read

March 14, 2019, 2:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Affordable Rental Housing

National Low-Income Housing Coalition / The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Rental Homes

The National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) released its annual report on the state of the nation's housing today, and the picture is bleak.

"Today, more than 8 million Americans spend more than half their income on housing, meaning that these severely rent-burdened households have little left every month to pay for food, transportation, and healthcare," writes Patrick Sisson to share the news about the report. "No state or city in the entire country has an adequate supply of housing for extremely low-income housing population; California alone is short one million units."

It isn't just California getting a bad wrap with the findings of the report. As noted in local coverage for the Houston Chronicle by reporter Sarah Smith, "Houston is the least-affordable city in Texas for extremely low income renters..."

"Texas has fewer affordable units per 100 households for people of extremely low income than the country as a whole, per the report, coming out ahead of only six states. The national average is 37 homes per 100 extremely low income renters; Houston, however, only has 19 homes for that demographic," adds Smith.

Returning again to Sisson's coverage of the report, the current presidential administration and the upcoming presidential election also feature prominently in the narrative about the state of the nation's housing market.

The Trump administration completely fails to address the affordable housing crisis, or propose any new policies or programs that could help alleviate the strain. "The Trump administration, in its latest budget proposal, suggests slashing funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) by more than 16 percent, with those cuts affecting public housing and the maintenance and improvement of public housing buildings, and wants to add work requirements to existing programs," according to Sisson.

On a press call to promote the new report, Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the NLIHC, contrasted those proposals with those of Democratic presidential hopefuls Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren. According to Yentel, the housing programs proposed by senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, "offer bold solutions, 'the likes of which, in scale and scope, we haven’t seen in decades.'"

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