MAP: The Rental Housing Crisis, By County

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The Equity Factor

MAP: The Rental Housing Crisis, By County

New data from the Urban Institute explores the dearth of affordable rental housing for low-income Americans.

It’s the start of the month, which is as good a time as any to talk about rent. The Urban Institute today released a county-by-county interactive map that shows just how dire the affordable rental crisis is in the country. According to the research, “For every 100 extremely low-income (ELI) renter households in the country, there are only 29 affordable and available rental units.”

An ELI renter, as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is a household that earns 30 percent of the regional median income or less. For a family of four, this ranges between $7,450 and $33,300, depending on where you live. The lack of available affordable housing puts an undue burden on low-income renters, and not only in New York City or San Francisco.

From the Urban Institute’s study:

Not one county in the United States has an even balance between its ELI households and its affordable and available rental units. As a result, ELI households have to search harder for a place to live, spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent, or live in substandard housing.

There are 11.5 million ELI households in the U.S., and about 3.2 million Americans get some form of assistance from HUD. Without that assistance, though, there would only be one affordable unit for every 100. Simply put: There is not enough affordable housing.

Check out the Urban Institute’s map below.

The Equity Factor is made possible with the support of the Surdna Foundation.

Bill Bradley is a writer and reporter living in Brooklyn. His work has appeared in Deadspin, GQ, and Vanity Fair, among others.

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Tags: affordable housingequity factormapping

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