Whitepaper: The Renter’s Dilemma

October 18, 2022

The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) estimates there is a shortage of at least 7 million affordable housing units in the U.S. today. There is no single definition for affordable housing, but a rule of thumb in law and practice is affordable housing must have rents at no more than 60% of area medium income (“AMI”). Families or individuals that earn income below the relevant threshold are most likely to qualify for housing assistance. The lack of affordable housing compounds other social challenges in predictable and unforeseen ways.

Considerable evidence exists that makes the problem of providing affordable housing for the several million families without it worth solving. A sufficient supply of affordable housing has demonstrated measurable improvements to schools, students, communities, homelessness, and local economies. At the national level, NLIHC research indicates a $2 trillion reduction in annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) due to the deficit. Business owners and employees alike understand why: workers’ inability to find economical housing limits where they can work and live. A business that might otherwise thrive does not survive if only higher cost labor is available. A motivated worker may pass on a great opportunity for personal and income growth because they cannot afford nearby housing. Wages are not optimized and productivity declines.

Various regimes are in place to mitigate the challenge, including state tax credits, Section 8 vouchers, and housing authorities at the local level. No matter the mechanism, one component of this complex system is unchanged: the need for human and capital investment to build and manage the affordable housing units these systems and people rely on…

Click here to read the full white paper.

Related News