Summary

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    In November, the National Low Income Housing Coalition released a report on the impact of the housing crisis on the affordable rental market. This analysis comparing 2007 and 2008 American Community Survey data finds that while the supply of rental units has kept pace with demand for the most part, the shortage of affordable and available rental units has grown worse for the lowest income households during this period.

    A tumultuous housing market and declining incomes helped fuel a 2.4 percent growth in demand for rental housing across all income categories. Likewise, the supply of rental units increased by about 2.2 percent during the study period. However, the supply of affordable units increased in every income category except for the extremely low-income (ELI) households. The study also found that many of the units with the lowest rents were being occupied by households in a higher income category.

    Growing demand and shrinking supply of affordable and available rental units for ELI households led to an increase in the absolute shortage from 2.7 million to 3.1 million homes.