People with Disabilities Priced Out of Nation’s Housing Market

Rent Out of Reach for People
Living on SSI without Vouchers

Priced Out in 2014A new study reveals that people with disabilities receiving Supplemental Security income (SSI) cannot afford housing anywhere in the United States.

Without her subsidized apartment, Olivia – whose income is limited to SSDI and SSI – would have been stuck in a nursing home at an estimated cost of $300 per day.

The study released today finds that millions of non-elderly people with disabilities – just like Olivia – are stuck in homeless shelters, expensive public institutions, nursing homes, unsafe and overcrowded board and care homes, at home with aging parents, or in segregated group quarters.

“Nothing compares to living in your own home. It is the best. Calling the nursing home a ‘home’ is a misnomer. Home is with friends, neighbors and not worrying about being back at a certain time, eating what you want.”

Priced Out in 2014, produced by the Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC) and the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) Housing Task Force, finds that the national average rent for a modestly priced one-bedroom apartment is greater than the entire Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment of a person with a disability.

Priced Out in 2014 compares the monthly SSI payments received by more than 4.8 million non-elderly Americans with disabilities to the Fair Market Rents (FMR) for modest studio and one-bedroom apartments in housing markets across the country. The FMR for rental housing is determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Priced Out in 2014 reveals that as a national average, people with disabilities receiving SSI needed to pay 104% of their income to rent a 1-bedroom unit priced at the Fair Market Rent.

TACPricedoutIn New Jersey in 2014:

  • There were 97,792 SSI recipients.
  • Recipients receive $752/month.
  • SSI income puts recipients at 15.1% of the median income.
  • Recipients would need to pay 144% of their SSI income to afford a 1-bedroom apartment and 127% of their SSI income for an efficiency apartment.
  • There are 11 local housing markets, basically covering the entire state, where 1-bedroom apartment rents are above 100% of monthly SSI benefits.

“From Bethel, Alaska to Boston, Massachusetts, to Tallahassee, Florida, we have an affordable housing crisis in our nation’s local communities, and it is particularly acute for people with disabilities on SSI. The effect is incontrovertible – too many people with disabilities on SSI are homeless or live in segregated settings.”

Stated Kevin Martone, TAC Executive Director.

“As this report makes clear, rental housing is out of reach for people living on SSI without an ongoing rent subsidy … Congress and the President must agree to lift these caps in order for us to have any chance to reach the goals of allowing people with disabilities to transition from institutional settings and ending chronic homelessness.”

Said Andrew Sperling of the CCD Housing Task Force.

According to HUD, rent is affordable when it is no more than 30 percent of income. SSI is a federal program that provides income to people with significant and long-term disabilities who have extremely low incomes and virtually no assets.

Click here for more information on TAC’s website.