New report shows severe shortage of affordable rental homes
AFFORDABLE RENTAL SHORTAGE FACES RENTERS IN WASHINGTON
Recent Analysis Shows No State Has Adequate Housing Supply for Low Income Families
WASHINGTON, D.C.- An analysis released today by a national housing research and advocacy group shows a growing gap between the number low income families and the number of rental homes they can afford and that are available for them to rent. These renter households, faced with excessively high housing costs or inadequate housing circumstances, are at great risk of becoming homeless.
Jointly released by the National Low Income Housing Coalition and the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance, Housing Spotlight: The Shrinking Supply of Affordable Housing, shows that in Washington, there are only 28 rental homes both affordable and available to renter households considered extremely low income, that is, earning 30% or less of the area median income. Nationally, the data show that while there are 9.8 million extremely low income renter households, there are only 3 million rental homes affordable and available to them, leaving 6.8 million American households without access to decent housing they can afford. No state in the nation has an adequate supply of affordable, available rental housing.
"This gap is more than numbers on paper," said Rachael Myers, Executive Director of the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance "This is families in Washington sleeping on couches, skipping meals, living one illness away from total disaster. It's a recipe for homelessness." Advocates say this housing shortage compares in scale and impact to the foreclosure crisis.
While the affordable rental housing shortage itself is dire, housing advocates point to numerous available solutions. In Washington, the Housing Trust Fund is our most important resource for increasing homes for low-income families. An investment of $100 million would create more than 2,500 affordable homes and thousands of jobs in communities all across the state.
At the federal level, advocates call for funding of the National Housing Trust Fund, which would provide communities with funds to build, preserve, and rehabilitate rental homes that are affordable for those households impacted by the affordable housing shortage. Signed into law in 2008, the National Housing Trust Fund has not yet been funded. President Obama included $1 billion for the National Housing Trust Fund in his FY13 budget.
"Solving the shortage of affordable rental housing is the most important homelessness prevention measure we can undertake," said Sheila Crowley, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. "Investing in the National Housing Trust Fund is our best chance of ensuring affordable housing for all Americans."
The full report is available at http://nlihc.org/doc/HousingSpotlight2-1.pdf.
The Washington Low Income Housing Alliance works to ensure that all Washington residents have the opportunity to live in safe, healthy, and affordable homes in thriving communities. We do this through advocacy, education and organizing. Our organizational members and individual supporters come from every community in Washington State.