1.2 Million Households Pay Over 50% of Their Income For Rent

The supply of affordable rental housing appears to be dropping at a rapid pace during the past 2 years according to new research released this week from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  The study, Worst Case Housing Needs 2009: A Report to Congress, measures the scale of critical housing problems facing low-income un-assisted American renting households and finds that the found that “worst case housing needs” grew by nearly 1.2 million households, or more than 20 percent, from 2007 to 2009 and by 42 percent since 2001.  Those households that need to pay more than half their monthly income for rent, lived in severely substandard housing, or both are defined as “Worst case housing needs” by the report.  The report finds that needs are spread across all regions of the country and included all racial and ethnic groups, regardless of whether they lived in cities, suburbs or rural areas and finds that large numbers of worst case needs were also found across various family types including families with children, senior citizens, and persons with disabilities.

“These numbers show the scale of the challenge inherited by the Obama Administration, with a historic increase in need during the two years before we took office,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan.  “The report shows a clear link between unemployment and housing needs and that’s why the President has been so focused on creating jobs. A growing economy and new jobs, combined with HUD’s new commitments to produce and preserve affordable rental housing is what we need to reverse this trend.”

For the full report, visit:  http://www.huduser.org/Publications/pdf/worstcase_HsgNeeds09.pdf