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Economy

For Low-Income Renters, the Affordable Housing Gap Persists

While supply varies by state, not one has enough housing for low-income renters.
Every state has fewer than 59 affordable housing units available for every 100 extremely low income families.
Every state has fewer than 59 affordable housing units available for every 100 extremely low income families. NLIHC

Finding affordable housing isn’t getting any easier for the more than a quarter of U.S. renters that are extremely low-income. For six years, the National Low Income Housing Coalition has released an annual report calculating the discrepancy between available affordable housing units and renters who earn below the poverty line or 30 percent of the area median. Last year, they found that for every 100 households categorized as extremely low income (ELI), only 35 affordable rental homes are available—a shortage of over 7 million affordable and available homes. That same figure stands today.

Part of this shortage is caused by an influx of higher income households into more affordable homes: Almost half of the affordable rental units are occupied by families that earn above the poverty line. As incomes get higher, cumulative shortages get less pronounced. Households that earn less than 50 percent AMI have 56 affordable and available rental homes; those below 80 percent have 93.