Report Describes Growing Affordable Rental Housing Gap

On Aug. 25, the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) released a paper entitled “The Affordable Rental Housing Gap Persists.” It summarizes the findings of a report NLIHC recently published on the availability of affordable rental housing for lower income households and focuses on the gap between the number of households in specific income groups and the number of rental homes that are both affordable and available to them.

NLIHC’s paper features a new metric called deeply low income (DLI). DLI renters receive 15 percent or less of the area median income (AMI) for the area in which they live. The paper also describes housing needs in federally designated metropolitan areas, which provides more clarity on where housing needs are greatest.

Key findings include:

  • The number of extremely low income (ELI) renters has steadily increased since 2009, reaching 10.3 million households in 2012, up from 9.6 million in 2009. (ELI households receive 30 percent or less of AMI.)
  • For every 100 ELI renters, there are only 31 available and affordable units.
  • Put another way, there’s a shortage of 7.1 million units available and affordable to ELI households.
  • There’s a shortage of 3.4 million affordable rental homes available for the 4 million renter households who are classified as DLI.
  • No state had more than 34 units of rental housing available and affordable per 100 DLI households.
  • None of the 50 metropolitan areas with the largest rental household populations had a sufficient number of affordable rental units to serve all ELI households.