Several Alarming Housing Trends Revealed in NLIHC Out of Reach 2022 Report

Date Published: 
August 31st, 2022

Recently, the National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) released its 2022 Out of Reach: The High Cost of Housing report. The report revealed several alarming trends. Low-wage workers are struggling to afford housing costs as inflation and rents have increased. Wages have not kept pace with housing costs in nearly every part of the country.

The authors place a major focus on the gap between low-wage renters’ incomes and housing costs. The “Housing Wage” – the wage a full-time worker must earn to afford a rental home without spending over 30% of their income on housing – was calculated to be $25.82 per hour for an average two-bedroom home and $21.25 for a one-bedroom. The U.S. federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.

The report also highlights stories of tenants’ experiences with new property owners, how some tenants have given up expenses to make ends meet, and how these experiences have disproportionately harmed Latino, Black, and female workers. NLIHC calls for federal policy action to preserve and expand the supply of affordable housing in the report and suggests solutions including expanding the national Housing Trust Fund and increasing direct federal investment in public housing preservation to free up Low-Income Housing Tax Credits from financing RAD conversions.

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