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New Report Reveals a Familiar Problem—A Continued Shortage of Affordable Homes

May 13, 2022 | by Michael Wilt

Categories: Affordable Housing, Rental Housing

Last month, the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) released their annual report highlighting the continued struggles of extremely-low income renters (households earning 30 percent or below the area median income). Both nationally and locally, there remains a persistent shortage of affordable and available homes to renters in this income category. We'll take a closer look at some of the specific data below.

National Numbers

The report provides startling numbers on the national scale.

  • Nationwide, there is a shortage of seven million affordable rental homes for extremely low-income renters which is roughly the same as when we covered this report in 2020. An affordable rent is considered no more than 30 percent of household income going towards housing.
  • There are only 36 affordable and available rental homes for every 100 extremely low-income renters. 
  • Extremely low-income renters face a shortage of affordable rental homes in every state and every metropolitan area.
  • 72 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. 

a look at the numbers in texas

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

  • There is a statewide shortage of 614,487 affordable units for extremely low-income households. Stated another way, there are only 29 available and affordable units for every 100 of these households. This is similar to where the state was two years ago.
  • Among large metro areas, San Antonio has 31 affordable units available for every 100 extremely low-income households; Austin has 22; Dallas-Fort Worth has 20, and Houston has 19. 
  • Statewide, 89% of extremely low-income households have a cost burden (pay more than 30% of income on housing), and 74% have a severe cost burden (pay more than 50% of their income on housing). 
  • If you add in very low-income renters (households earning 50 percent or below the area median income), the housing deficit climbs to 687,674 units. This means there are only 51 available and affordable units for every 100 of these households. 
  • Among the major metro areas, San Antonio has 46 affordable units available for every 100 very low-income households; Austin has 49; Dallas-Fort Worth has 49; and Houston has 47. 

Specific data for each state can be found here

The report concludes with a sobering reminder that rising inflation and rents continue to pose vexing challenges to extremely low-income renters. However, it does highlight some federal interventions and investments that could help address the persistent shortage of affordable homes available to those with the biggest financial impediments.

HOW WE HELP EXTREMELY AND VERY Low-Income Households

We finance the creation of rental homes for extremely low-income renters. Thanks to a collaboration with the Health and Human Services Commission, we launched the Affordable Housing Partnership to provide funding for affordable, accessible, community-integrated housing for extremely low-income Texans with persistent health challenges. To date, we've awarded $2.1 million in forgivable loans to finance the construction of 28 units in developments located in Dallas and Travis counties.

We provide training and capacity building to supportive housing developers. 
In 2020, we partnered with the Corporation for Supportive Housing to launch the Texas Supportive Housing Institute which provides training and technical assistance to development teams interested in building and operating supportive housing in their communities. Since its inception, we've trained eight development teams across the state that are working to bring hundreds of new supportive housing units online.

We provide 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 $5.2 million in grant funding for home repairs and supportive housing services. 


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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