Across the United States in 2006, people with disabilities with the lowest incomes faced an extreme housing affordability crisis as rents for moderately priced studio and one-bedroom apartments soared above their entire monthly income for the first time. The national average rent for a one-bedroom unit climbed to $715 per month and the studio/efficiency unit rent to $633 per month in 2006 – both higher than the entire monthly income of people with disabilities who rely on the federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.
These shocking statistics are the most important findings included in Priced Out in 2006 – the newest Priced Out study of the severe housing affordability problems of people with disabilities who must survive on incomes far below the federal poverty line. The study compares the SSI monthly income of people with serious and long-term disabilities to local U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Fair Market Rents for modestly priced rental units in 2006. This issue of Opening Doors highlights the key findings published in Priced Out in 2006, a biennial report published by the Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC) and the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) Housing Task Force to shine a spotlight on our nation’s most compelling – and least understood – housing affordability crisis.