A new report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) has determined there is a shortage of 7.2 million affordable and available rental homes for extremely low income (ELI) renter households, those with incomes at or below the poverty level or 30 percent of their area median income.
According to the report, “The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes,” there are only 35 affordable and available units for every 100 ELI renter households nationwide. Furthermore, 75 percent ELI renter households are living under an acute housing cost-burdened financial state, spending more than half of their income on housing and leaving insufficient resources left for necessities and emergencies.
The report also examined local markets. On a state level, Nevada trails the nation with 15 affordable and available homes for every 100 ELI renter households, while Maine leads with 59 for every 100 ELI renter households. For the 50 largest metropolitan areas, the supply ranges from 10 affordable and available rental homes for every 100 ELI renter households in Las Vegas to 47 in Providence, R.I.
“This year’s analysis includes a look at who are the lowest income renters,” said Andrew Aurand, Vice President for Research at NLIHC and lead author of the report. “We tend to hear misinformed stereotypes about poor individuals when in fact the vast majority of the poorest renter households are seniors, people with disabilities, or individuals who are working, enrolled in school, or caring for a young child or for someone with a disability. The wages of those who are working are too low to afford rent without assistance.”