Latest Report Documents Continued Shortage of Affordable Rental Homes

May 8, 2020 | by Michael Wilt

Categories: Affordable Housing, Rental Housing

In March, the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) released a report highlighting the continued struggles of extremely-low income renters (households earning 30 percent or below the area median income). 

First, there is a nationwide shortage of seven million affordable rental homes for extremely low-income renters. An affordable rent is considered no more than 30 percent of household income going towards housing.

And second, 71 percent of the nation's extremely low-income renters are severely housing cost-burdened. This means they spend more than half of their incomes on rent and utilities. 

The report breaks down its findings by state. Below are five key points from the data specific to Texas

  • There is a statewide shortage of 611,181 affordable units for extremely low-income households. Stated another way, there are only 29 available and affordable units for every 100 of these households. 
  • If you add in very low-income renters (households earning 50 percent or below the area median income), the housing deficit climbs to 718,650 units. This means there are only 49 available and affordable units for every 100 of these households. 
  • Among large metro areas, San Antonio has 38 affordable units available for every 100 extremely low-income households; Dallas-Fort Worth has 21; Houston has 19; and Austin has 14. 
  • Among those same areas, San Antonio has 49 affordable units available for every 100 very low-income households; Dallas-Fort Worth has 46; Houston has 41; and Austin has 42. 
  • Statewide, 89% of extremely low-income households have a cost burden (pay more than 30% of income on housing), and 73% have a severe cost burden (pay more than 50% of their income on housing). 

Specific data for each state can be found here

The report concludes with recommendations to increase housing availability for the lowest-income households. These include maintaining the national Housing Trust Fund, preserving the Project-Based Rental Assistance program, expanding rental assistance programs, increasing investment in new affordable housing, and preserving the existing supply of affordable homes including properties financed through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Section 515 program.


  1. Financing the creation of additional rental units. Thanks to investments from Austin Community Foundation's FundATX and Texas Capital Bank, we're providing $995,000 in construction financing for the AHA! at Briarcliff apartments in Central East Austin. The development will include 11 units for extremely low-income households.
  2. Providing grants to nonprofits to assist very low-income households. Our Texas Foundations Fund program provides grants to nonprofits to assist very low-income households. To date, we have invested more than $3.7 million in grant funding for home repairs and supportive housing services. 
  3. Providing training and capacity building to housing developers. TSAHC collaborated with Enterprise Community Partners, The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and others to host a series of workshops and a summit designed to preserve USDA Section 515 properties. These are affordable rental communities located in rural areas, and per the report cited above, the average income of a resident at one of these properties is $13,112. 

    We also partnered with LISC San Antonio to host a series of trainings for organizations interested in developing Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) communities. Rental units at PSH developments are primarily for extremely low-income households. In September, we intend to launch a PSH Institute designed to aid participants in planning and financing PSH developments. 

On the House blog posts are meant to provide general information on various housing-related issues, research and programs. We are not liable for any errors or inaccuracies in the information provided by blog sources. Furthermore, this blog is not legal advice and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney.

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