NLIHC’s The Gap Report: U.S. Faces Shortage of 7.3 M Affordable Rental Homes

Date Published: 
March 26th, 2024

NLIHC’s annual report, The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes, finds that the lowest-income renters in the U.S. face a shortage of 7.3 million affordable and available rental homes. As a result, nearly three-quarters of renters with extremely low incomes are severely cost-burdened, spending more than half of their income on rent and accounting for nearly 70% of all severely cost-burdened renters in the U.S. 

According to the report, just 34 affordable and available homes exist for every 100 renter households with extremely low incomes. This shortage impacts every state and the District of Columbia, resulting in widespread housing cost burdens. The states with the most severe shortages – Nevada, Arizona, California, Alaska, Florida, and Texas – have fewer than three affordable rental homes available for every 10 extremely low-income renters, with Nevada having fewer than two. Even states with the least severe shortages still have significant shortfalls, having fewer than six rental homes affordable and available for every 10 extremely low-income renters. 

The report calls for greater federal investments in the preservation and expansion of the affordable housing stock, more Housing Choice Vouchers to bridge the gap between renters’ incomes and rent, and emergency assistance for renters who experience an unexpected short-term financial shock. The report concludes that the private market cannot adequately serve renters with extremely low incomes and that present funding for housing assistance is insufficient, creating a systemic national problem that requires action from Congress. 


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