A recent National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) report revealed that only 31 affordable units exist for every 100 extremely low income households, painting a dire picture for our nation's poorest renters. In Texas, there are 24 affordable units for every 100 such households.
Extremely low income households earn 30 percent or below the median income in their area, and an affordable rent amount is considered no more than 30 percent of household income going towards housing.
Andrew Aurand, vice president for research at NLIHC, laid out the harsh reality many of these households face stating, “Millions of people in America are living in unaffordable rental homes. They are forced to cut their spending on food, transportation, and health to pay rent.”
National Housing Trust Fund
The report highlights one source of help on the horizon for low income renters, the National Housing Trust Fund. This dedicated source of new federal funding available beginning this year will send nearly $4.8 million to Texas, and the bulk of it must be used for rental housing for extremely low income households (90% of funds must be used for rental housing, and 75% of those rental funds must be used for extremely low income households).
This injection of capital is a relief for housing advocates who maintain this is one problem we can build our way out of if given the resources. And in addition to addressing one of the nation’s greatest housing needs, the NLIHC report suggests that the benefits of housing extremely low income households will spread to households at other incomes as well.
It concludes by stating, “Expanding the supply of affordable rental housing allows [extremely low income] households to move out of their unaffordable housing, making these units available to other income groups. Simply put, federal housing policy that targets the most critical housing needs will produce net benefits for everyone.”
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