7.7 Million Very Low-Income Unassisted Households Experienced Worst-Case Housing Needs

Published by Michael Novogradac on Friday, February 6, 2015 - 12:00am

In a report released earlier this week, “Worst Case Housing Needs: 2015 Report to Congress”, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) found that 7.7 million very low-income unassisted households experienced worst-case housing needs in 2013, meaning they paid more than 50 percent of their monthly income for rent, lived in severely inadequate housing or both. The number of households experiencing worst-case needs in 2013 is 9 percent above the 2009 level and 49 percent higher than 2003 levels. Of these households in 2013, 2.8 million were family households with children, 1.5 million were elderly households without children, 2.7 million were nonfamily households and 700,000 were other households.


Blog Graph Worst Case Housing Needs By Household Type
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Worst-case needs affect very low-income renters across racial and ethnic groups. The prevalence of worst-case needs among such renters during 2013 was 44 percent for non-Hispanic whites and Hispanics, 35 percent for non-Hispanic blacks, and 42 percent for others. The rate decreased between 2011 and 2013 for non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics, but not for others.


Blog Graph Worst Case Housing Needs by Race and Ethnicity
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On a positive note, the number of households experiencing worst-case needs fell 9 percent from the 2011 level. This decrease is principally attributable to the 7.2 percent rise in renter incomes, though a modest 2 percent increase in the supply of rental units also helped.  While the supply of rental housing increased 2 percent, total rental households rose at a faster pace of 3.7 percent, demonstrating the continued need for a greater supply of rental housing.