HUD Report Shows Housing Affordability Crisis is Worsening

Filed in Multifamily by on August 10, 2017 0 Comments
Paseo Pointe

The Paseo Point community in Vista City, Calif., was funded by programs including state tax credits and was named a winner in the NAHB Multifamily Pillars of the Industry Affordable Housing category. Photo by Jim Doyle, Applied Photography

HUD released a report to Congress on Aug. 9 entitled Worst Case Housing Needs 2017 which found that 8.3 million households had “worst-case housing needs” in 2015, meaning they are very low-income renters who do not receive government housing assistance and paid more than half their income for rent, lived in severely inadequate conditions, or both.

After a decline in worst-case needs from nearly 8.5 million in 2011 to 7.72 million in 2013, the number of these very poor, unsubsidized renter households increased to 8.3 million in 2015. This latest figure is the second-highest number of households recorded.

Moreover, other studies, such as the 2016 Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies report on the State of the Nation’s Housing, show an even higher number of households are severely cost burdened.

While incomes rose between 2013 and 2015, rents also increased nearly as fast. For the poorest renters, however, growth in rental costs outpaced income gains.

“After years of trying to keep up with rising rents, it’s time we take a more holistic look at how government at every level, working with the private market and others, can ease the pressure being felt by too many unassisted renters,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in a press release announcing the report.

“Today’s affordable rental housing crisis requires that we take a more business-like approach on how the public sector can reduce the regulatory barriers so the private markets can produce more housing for more families.”

Responding to the HUD report, NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald issued a statement calling on Congress and the Trump administration to make it “a top priority to enact policies that will promote the construction of sorely needed rental apartments.”

Specifically, NAHB is urging Congress and the administration to:

  • Approve the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement (Senate bill S.548 and House bill H.R. 1661). MacDonald recently testified that S. 548 “takes a significant and needed step to boosting supply by increasing Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) allocations by 50%.” Enacting this bill is expected to result in an additional 400,000 LIHTC units over the next 10 years. NAHB estimates that added construction would increase federal tax revenue by $11.6 billion and state and local revenues by $5.6 billion. The LIHTC is the largest federal affordable housing production program.
  • Provide a strong fiscal 2018 budget for HUD, which funds the HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program, the largest federal block grant to state and local governments designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low-income households.
  • Provide full funding to renew contracts for crucial rental assistance programs such as the Housing Choice Voucher Program, Project-Based Rental Assistance and Rural Rental Assistance.

Additionally, NAHB calls on HUD to repeal regulatory or administrative policies that drive up the cost of providing much-needed affordable housing, such as split wage determinations on FHA-insured multifamily developments.

For more information, contact Michelle Kitchen at 800-368-5242 x8352.

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