Joint Center for Housing Publishes 2017 State of the Nation's Housing Report
The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University (JCHS) recently released “The State of the Nation’s Housing” report for 2017. The report shows that 37 percent of American households now rent. This marks a 50-year high. The report also finds that the supply of rental housing has not kept pace with demand. As a result, the rental market has a vacancy rate of 6.9 percent, a 30-year low, and 11 million renters spend more than half of their incomes on housing.
The report asserts that affordability and accessibility are both major concerns:
- Between 2005 and 2015, the number of rental units costing less than $800 per month declined while the number of units costing over $2,000 per month jumped by 1.5 million;
- Three quarters of renter households eligible for rental assistance on the basis of their income do not receive it; and
- Although 17 million households include at least one person with an ambulatory disability, only 1 percent of the nation’s housing stock has five critical accessibility features.
The report reveals that segregation by income is increasing, which has long-term damage to the health and well-being of individuals living in high-poverty neighborhoods:
- Between 2000 and 2015, the share of the poor population living in high-poverty neighborhoods rose from 43 percent to 54 percent;
- The number of high-poverty neighborhoods rose from 13,400 to more than 21,300; and
- The recent growth of these neighborhoods has been fastest in low-density areas at the metropolitan fringe and in rural communities, although most high-poverty neighborhoods are still concentrated in high-density urban cores.