The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes, a new report released today by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) and WISCAP finds a national shortage of 7 million affordable and available rental homes for the lowest-income households. There are just 36 affordable and available rental homes for every 100 of the lowest-income renter households nationwide. 71% of the poorest renter households are severely housing cost-burdened, spending more than half of their incomes on housing, with little left over for other basic necessities. The pandemic has only made things worse. Long-term federal investments are needed to combat this housing crisis for the lowest-income renters.
Every year, The Gap reports on the severe shortage of affordable rental homes available to extremely low-income families and individuals. Brad Paul, Executive Director of WISCAP, is calling attention to the crisis in affordable housing in Wisconsin. Wisconsin has only 34 affordable and available rental homes for every 100 households with extremely low incomes. We have over 188,000 extremely low-income renters in Wisconsin. 65% of these renters are severely housing cost burdened. Paul says, “Wisconsin can and must do better.”
The report shows how these lowest-income renters were uniquely positioned to suffer disproportionately from the effects of lost income and housing insecurity during the pandemic. Although the federal government took unprecedented actions to protect the lowest-income renters, the government’s actions were temporary. Most eviction moratoriums have been lifted and resources such as federal emergency rental assistance are running out. Longer-term federal investments in affordable housing are needed to combat the underlying shortage of affordable housing that exposed so many of these lowest-income renters to housing instability in the first place.
“The pandemic has made plain our nation’s lack of a housing safety net,” said NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel. “It is time to invest in long-term housing policies that will finally address the systemic shortage of affordable housing and provide housing stability for the lowest-income families.”
For additional information, visit: https://nlihc.org/gap
About WISCAP: The Wisconsin Community Action Program Association (WISCAP) is the statewide association for Wisconsin’s sixteen (16) Community Action agencies and two single-purpose agencies with statewide focus. You can learn more about WISCAP at wiscap.org