NAHRO Statement on the Harvard JCHS State of the Nation’s Housing 2017
June 16, 2017 - Today, the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies released its State of the Nation’s Housing 2017 report. NAHRO is proud to be a sponsor of this vital annual publication, a must-read for affordable housing and community development practitioners.
As the report shows, despite some gains, the housing affordability crunch remains a nation-wide issue. As demand increases, the modest rate of new construction has kept the rental and homeowner markets tight. New residential construction in 2016 is below the 1.4-1.5 million unit rate averaged in the 1980s and 1990s.
The study demonstrates that low and moderate income families are disproportionately affected. While nearly half of all renters were cost-burdened in 2015, 83 percent of renters with incomes under $15,000 and 77 percent of those with incomes between $15,000 and $29,000 were cost-burdened. Younger and older households also bear a significant portion of the burden. In 2015, nearly 25 million children and one-third of older adults lived in cost-burdened households. In total, 11.1 million renter households were severely cost burdened in 2015.
The report also documents threats to the already-strained affordable housing supply, including the loss of private units to upgrading and rent increases, Section 8 landlords opting out, the proposed cuts to the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program and the expiry of affordability restrictions on over half a million LIHTC units over the next 10 years.
“This important report underlines the need for more, not less, investment in housing. We need to support HUD programs that create new housing and preserve the affordable housing we already have,” said NAHRO CEO Adrianne Todman. “HOME, CDBG, Public Housing, and vouchers all play an integral role helping families of all shapes and sizes across the country. Now is the time to lean into, and not away from, these programs and others.”
NAHRO, established in 1933, is a membership organization of 20,000 housing and community development agencies and professionals throughout the United States whose mission is to create affordable housing and safe, viable communities that enhance the quality of life for all Americans, especially those of low- and moderate-income. NAHRO's membership administers more than 3 million housing units for 7.6 million people.