Affordable Rental Housing Gap Persists

76% of NJ Extremely Low Income Households
Severely Burdened By Housing Costs

Affordable Rental Housing Gap PersistsAccording to the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s (NLIHC) Housing Spotlight: The Affordable Rental Housing Gap Persists, across the country, there is a lack of 7.1 million rental units that are affordable and available for extremely low income households (households with income at or below 30% of the area median income). This year is the first time that the report includes the income category of those making 15% or less of the Area Median Income (AMI), a population that has the hardest time finding housing.

According to the report:

“nationwide, there are only 31 affordable and available units for every 100 extremely low income renters. Extremely low income renters make up 25% of the total renter population, but just 7% of all rental units were affordable and available to this population.”

For those making 15% or less of AMI, there were only 16 affordable and available units for them for every 100.

New Jersey’s numbers are very similar to the low nationwide numbers. In New Jersey, 30 units are affordable and available for every 100 for households at or below 30% of AMI. For those at or below 15% of AMI, New Jersey has 17 affordable and available units per 100.

Not surprisingly, the lack of affordable and available rental units for low-income groups results in a disproportionately high percentage of these households with severe housing cost burden (spending more than 50% of household income on housing costs). In New Jersey, 89% of those households with incomes at or below 15% of AMI experience severe housing cost burden. Of those households at or below 30% of AMI, 76% of them experience severe housing cost burden.

The report makes clear that the nation is still dealing with a slow recovery from the housing crisis and as a result, low-income households are having a harder time than ever finding affordable and available rental units. The housing gap data can be sued to make the case for policies that will reduce the gap.

This Housing Spotlight centers on gap analysis, 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. In addition to a state-by-state analysis, the report offers a breakdown for the New York-Newark-Jersey City Metropolitan Area.

The report is based on 2012 ACS PUMS data.

Click here for the full NLIHC report.