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.

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.'"

Thursday, March 14, 2019 in Curbed

The New York Public Library's stone lions Patience and Fortitude have donned face masks to remind New Yorkers to wear face coverings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Top Urban Planning Books of 2021

Planetizen's annual list of the top urban planning books of the year is here—maintaining a tradition that dates back to 2002.

November 26, 2021 - James Brasuell

NYC Subway Construction

RAISE Grants Announced: U.S. DOT Shifts to a Greener Vision for Transportation

News broke early this morning the U.S. Department of Transportation had announced the first round of funding for the Biden administration's new discretionary grant funding program.

November 19, 2021 - U.S. Department Of Transportation

Empty Road

The Roadway Expansion Paradox

Motorists want expensive roadway expansions provided that somebody else foots the bill, but when required to pay directly through tolls, the need for more capacity often disappears. What should planners do?

November 28, 2021 - Todd Litman

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.