Report Shows Rising Severe Housing Cost Burdens for Renters
The newest edition of the National Housing Conference's annual Housing Landscape report found that severe housing cost burdens among working renter households have risen for the third consecutive year. Housing Landscape 2013 explores the latest American Community Survey data from 2011, showing that 26.4 percent of working renters spent more than half of household income on housing costs. While severe housing cost burdens stayed relatively stable for working homeowners between 2008 and 2011, roughly one in five working homeowners experienced severe housing affordability challenges throughout this period – despite falling home prices and mortgage interest rates.
The share of working renter households with a severe housing cost burden grew over the three-year period due primarily to falling incomes and rising rental housing costs. Nationally, working renters saw their housing costs rise by 6 percent from 2008 to 2011, while their household incomes fell more than 3 percent.
National Housing Conference President and CEO Chris Estes cautioned that a high and growing proportion of all working households—renters and homeowners combined—cannot afford their housing, and that little is being done to help. "The challenge we face is that despite the range of successful tools to help offset this crisis, we are still in a long trend of flat—and even slashed—funding for these important programs,” said Estes.
Estes notes that a recent report from the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Housing Commission highlighted the success of federal housing programs like HOME, the housing voucher, and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, and encouraged expanded funding for these programs to help respond to the housing affordability crisis.
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