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The Affordable Housing Shortage and Low-Income Renters

RISMEDIA, Monday, March 06, 2017— The pervasive affordable housing shortage is having an especially damaging effect on the ability for low-income renters to secure homes. According to a recently released report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), there are only 35 "affordable and available" rental homes for every 100 "extremely low-income" renter households—a total shortage of 7.4 million. The NLIHC defines "extremely low-income" as at or below 30 percent of the median income or poverty line for a specific area. More than 70 percent of extremely low-income renter households are cost-burdened, with over half of their income allocated to housing—an unsafe financial predicament. Every state, the report shows, has a short supply of affordable rentals, from a ratio of approximately six to 10 in Alabama to three to 20 in Nevada. The most challenged states are California, Arizona, Oregon, Colorado and Florida. "The poorest households in our nation face the largest shortage of affordable and available rental housing and have more severe housing cost burdens than any other group," said Andrew Aurand, lead author of the report and vice president for Research at the NLIHC, in a statement on the report. "The shortage disappears for households higher up the income ladder." The report, "The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes," underscores a call for changes at the federal level. "Tax reform provides Congress the perfect opportunity to enact modest changes to housing tax expenditures, particularly to the highly regressive mortgage interest deduction, to generate billions in savings that could support housing affordability for our nation's lowest income households," said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the NLIHC, in the statement. Source: National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC)

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