NPR Report Highlights Affordable Homes Crisis

On March, 30, 2016, National Public Radio Pam Fessler highlighted the issues faced by very low-income renters in Washington, D.C., “Low-Income Renters Squeezed Between Too-High Rents And Subpar Housing.”

Fessler highlights the growing low-income housing crisis not just in DC but across America because.

“According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard, the number of low-cost rental units grew only 10 percent over the past decade, while the number of low-income renters grew 40 percent.”

She interviewed low-income renters in their apartments and chronicled their struggles with sub-par housing and landlords who do not address heating and safety issues in their homes.

“The lack of affordable housing is forcing low-income renters to choose between apartments they can’t afford or those that aren’t in the best shape.”

“Thinks one answer is more government subsidies for low-income housing.”

Said DC area landlord Art Nalls.

Pamela Glover, a low-income renter interviewed for the story:

“Was recently in landlord tenant court with some neighbors who were being sued for not paying their rent. Glover says she has water leaks, mold and a constantly beeping fire alarm. She admits $815 a month for a two-bedroom apartment is a bargain, but she still wants to live in a place that is comfortable and safe.”

Glover lives off her disability payments and does not have any other options to afford renting a home.

“We don’t even have security around here no more. They shoot around here like it’s a job.”

Glover says.

“Neither does Walker, who doesn’t make much above minimum wage. Anything more than $800 a month is out of her league, Walker says. But anything under $800 is pretty much what she already has.”

Terrell lives in a DC apartment with her 2 year-old and 9 year-old daughters. The photos that show the mold and heating problems in her apartment are appalling.

NPR Story by Pam Fessler

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