Housing Impact Report Finds That More Families are Unable to Get by on Wages Alone

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PAHRC Addresses the Nationwide Increase of Working Families Receiving Rental Assistance

2019 Housing Impact Report

While the Housing Impact Report found that many low-income families were bumped out of the income range for HUD assistance due to economic gains they made last year, the percentage of able-bodied working-age assisted households that earn wages increased.

The Public and Affordable Housing Research Corporation (PAHRC) at HAI Group today announces the release of its annual research publication, the Housing Impact Report.

This year’s report finds that housing assistance continues to serve the most vulnerable populations, including those with lower levels of educational attainment, higher rates of health limitations and chronic diseases, and higher rates of learning disabilities among children than their low-income peers not seeking housing assistance.

While the Housing Impact Report found that many low-income families were bumped out of the income range for HUD assistance due to economic gains they made last year, the percentage of able-bodied working-age assisted households that earn wages increased. This shows that low-income working families are still struggling to pay rent.

Moreover, nearly 12M additional households—made up of nearly 30M people—are still in need of housing assistance since rents nationwide are continuing to rise faster than incomes. To make things worse, the stock of affordable housing is shrinking and the time that families will spend on HUD waiting lists has increased by 44% over the last decade.

“The affordable housing crisis is encouraging housing providers and their local communities to explore innovative strategies to provide more affordable housing,” said PAHRC’s Director of Research and Industry Intelligence, Keely Stater, PhD. “Given the decade-long disinvestment in federal affordable housing programs, new strategies are desperately needed.”

“Whether it is updating zoning laws to encourage multifamily units, allowing accessory dwelling units, transforming empty commercial spaces into residential homes, expanding local sources of funding for affordable housing projects, or even finding new design strategies to reduce building costs, local strategies are having an impact on the supply of affordable housing,” Stater continued. “While these innovations are spurring new forms of housing and opening up more spaces to build, more federal investment is still needed to meet the demand.”

The report also finds housing assistance supports an increasing population of seniors and disabled individuals who are unable to participate in the labor force and earn enough to afford market rents. The report also reinforces data that predicts that as Baby Boomers age into retirement, rental assistance programs may struggle to accommodate them while the need continues to grow.

The research included in this year’s Housing Impact Report spans all demographics of those living in assisted housing and shows that some trends are continuing while others drastically changed. The percentage of seniors and individuals living with disabilities who live in rent-assisted households increased this year increased this year, continuing a decade-long trend that is expected to continue as the population ages. The number of children living in rent-assisted households decreased this year, continuing a long-term trend linked to a national decline in births. The number of veterans receiving rental assistance decreased this year, after a multi-year increase, likely due to the coordinated effort by the VA, HUD, and many states to end veteran’s homelessness and support low-income veterans.

To dive deeper in to the report, join the authors for the New Trends in Housing Assistance and Local Strategies to Increase the Supply webinar on Wednesday, June 12, at 2:00 pm EST. Register for the webinar.

Participants will be able to better understand new strategies that are underway to expand the stock of affordable multifamily homes, recognize who receives rental assistance and the challenges they face when trying to secure an affordable home, and learn how the Housing Impact Report can be used to advance affordable housing.

Read the Housing Impact Report.

About HAI Group
HAI Group® is the marketing name for a family of companies founded by and dedicated to housing, headquartered in Cheshire, Connecticut. While we are recognized as a pioneer of public and affordable housing insurance programs, insurance is not our only strength. We protect, preserve, and promote the sustainability of affordable housing with a wide array of products that support the challenges housing organizations face, offering insurance, strategic capital, research, advocacy, and training to meet the needs of over 1,500 housing organizations and more than 12,000 housing professionals across the nation. For a complete list of our companies, visit http://www.housingcenter.com.

About The Public and Affordable Housing Research Corporation
The Public and Affordable Housing Research Corporation (PAHRC) at HAI Group is a non-profit research center dedicated to conducting research that promotes the national conversation about the importance of affordable housing. PAHRC spotlights the impact, outcomes, and value affordable housing brings to the families it serves and to the communities it supports, delivering data and tools that assist researchers, practitioners, and advocates to build an evidence-based case for why affordable housing matters. For more information, visit http://www.housingcenter.com/research.

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Courtney Rice
@HAIGroup
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