Shortage of 7 Million Apartments for the Nation’s Lowest-Income Renters Across All Fifty States
Today, the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) released its annual report, The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes. This report found in the United States, a shortage of seven million affordable and available rental homes for extremely low-income renters, those with household incomes at or below the poverty level or 30% of their area median income.
The report also found that in New Jersey in 2017, there were 298,204 extremely low income renters. At the same time, there is a shortage of 200,619 affordable and available rental units for households at or below extremely low income.
To meet the needs of New Jersey’s low-income renters, there are only 33 affordable and available rental homes for every 100 low income households. Seventy-two percent (72%) of extremely low-income renters households have a severe cost burden.
The report also breaks down the data about the shortage of affordable homes into the following metropolitan areas that include parts of New Jersey – New York City/Newark/Jersey City and Philadelphia/Camden/Wilmington.
The report calls for increasing investments in housing solutions for the lowest-income people such as the national Housing Trust Fund, Housing Choice Vouchers, and public housing; protecting the existing supply of affordable homes; expanding and improving the Low Income Housing Tax Credit so it serves more of the lowest-income families; and implementing a renters’ tax credit that targets low-income renters.
Nationally, this year’s report finds fewer than four rental homes affordable and available for every 10 extremely low-income renter households nationwide. No state or major metropolitan area, including New Jersey, has an adequate supply of rental housing for the poorest renters. As a result of this shortage of affordable homes, 71% of extremely low-income renter households are severely housing cost-burdened, spending more than half of their limited incomes on housing. They account for nearly 73% of all severely cost-burdened renters in the U.S.
The vast majority of extremely low-income renters in the United States are seniors, people with disabilities, or people who are working, enrolled in school, or caring for a young child or for a household member with a disability. Twenty-six percent of extremely low-income renter households are seniors, 22% are a householder with a disability, and 39% are in in the labor force. The wages of those who are working are often too low to afford rent without assistance.
Click here for the NJ data included in the full report.