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It Has Finally Happened -- Some States Have No More Places For Low Income People to Live!

Homeless men

They call it the housing crisis, and with good reason. Providing affordable housing to low income families has become so severe that in some states, there is no longer a place for poor people to live.

The sad state of affordable housing comes from information from a new report from Freddie Mac, which finances loans for apartment buildings. More and more states are reporting seriously declining numbers in apartments affordable to very low-income families.

Here's a look at some of the statistics:
  • Nationally - dropped from 11.2 percent to 4.3 percent
  • Colorado - fell from 32 to 8 percent
  • Texas - fell from 10 to 3 percent
  • North Carolina - dropped from 10 to less than 1 percent

Low income and very low income

The main focus is on very low-income (VLI) households, defined as those that earn less than 50 percent of the area median income. Low-income (LI) is defined as 80 percent of the median family income for the area, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

In states such as California and Florida, available housing is already entirely unaffordable to VLI households and is now affecting low-income households - the next bracket up the income ladder.

According to a report by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, between 2001 and 2015, the number of severely burdened tenant households (those paying more than half their income in rent) making less than $15,000 rose from 4.9 million to 6.5 million, and the number of families making between $15,000 and $30,000 with severe rent burdens rose from 2.1 million to 3.5 million.

Those at the very bottom get hurt

What is happening is that those at the very bottom, VLI households, are being hurt the most. Others, such as LI households, are having to move into VLI rental property due to rising costs. Even middle-income households are finding themselves moving to LI property.

Where will this end? How many more homeless will be created as more states find themselves unable to provide affordable homes for the poor?

For more details about these findings, visit www.jchs.harvard.edu/research/state_nations_housing

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