Housing Needs Increase Among Older Adults

HUD recently posted a new report, Worst Case Housing Needs: 2019 Report to Congress. This report is the 17th in a longstanding series providing national data and analysis of critical housing problems facing very low-income renting families. “Worst case housing needs” households are very low-income renter households who don’t receive government housing assistance and are paying more than half of their income toward housing costs.

This report draws on data from the 2017 American Housing Survey (AHS) and finds there were 7.7 million renter households with worst case needs in 2017, as the private market and public rental assistance programs together made available only 59 affordable units per 100 very low-income renters.

Nationally, the overall number of households with worst case housing needs declined by 7 percent between 2015 and 2017, the period of time covered by the biannual report. However, worst case housing needs among older adults increased during this period. The report finds that inadequate market supply and competition for affordable units continue to pose substantial challenges for very low-income renters and states, “On the basis of household composition, only among elderly householders did worst case needs increase during 2015 to 2017.”