NAHRO Statement on NLIHC 2017 Out of Reach Report
June 8, 2017 -- Today, the National Low Income Housing Coalition released the 2017 edition of Out of Reach, which documents the gulf between renters’ wages and the cost of rental housing. The report documents a combination of insufficient incomes and rising rents that worsens already tight affordable housing markets.
According to the report, the 2017 national Housing Wage for a one-bedroom rental home is $17.14, or 2.4 times higher than the federal minimum wage. Further, household income has not kept up with the rising cost of rental housing: from 2007-2015, the median gross rent for a rental home increased by 6 percent, while the median income for renter households rose by only 1 percent, and median income for all households actually declined by 4 percent. The combination of rising housing rental costs and stagnant or declining incomes has resulted in more than 11.2 million renters that spend more than half their income on housing. Of particular concern is the shortage of affordable rental housing for those with the lowest incomes. The U.S. has 7.5 million affordable rental homes for its 11.4 million extremely low-income renter households.
NAHRO CEO Adrianne Todman said, “Out of Reach further underlines the importance of the work of NAHRO members and other housers who strive to create and preserve affordable housing for families, seniors, and veterans across the country. It also underscores the need for adequate resources to support this work.”
Todman continued, “We believe housing is an integral component of America’s infrastructure, and should be a national priority.”
As the nation’s oldest membership organization for affordable housing and community development professionals, NAHRO supports responsible funding levels for HUD programs such as public housing, the Housing Choice Voucher program, HOME and CDBG; the full capitalization of the Affordable Housing Trust Fund; prioritization of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit; and common-sense reforms that allow agencies to function more efficiently with the resources they have.
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.