On March 10th, the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) released its annual report, The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes . The NLIHC’s report identified a shortage of seven million affordable and available rental homes for extremely low-income renters, which includes folks with incomes at or below the poverty level, or less than 30% of their area’s median income. Proposed solutions included expanded investment in the national Housing Trust Fund, Housing Choice Vouchers, and public housing to increase the number of affordable units. It also called on Congress to increase funding for capital improvements to existing affordable housing, expand low-income tax credits, and establish a National Housing Stabilization Fund.
The report also included state-specific data on the number of affordable and available housing units, and identified where and when shortages occurred.
In Louisiana, the report found extreme shortages in available units to meet the needs of the population. Statewide, the report found that only 77,066 affordable and available rental homes exist to meet the needs of 182,280 extremely low income renter households. For every 100 renter households at or below extremely low income (0-30% of area median income), only 42 affordable and available homes existed. For every 100 renter households at or below 50% area median income, only 58 affordable and available homes existed. These numbers dropped by at least 10 homes when the data included just properties in the New Orleans-Metairie area of the state.
Renter households also reported extreme cost burdens associated with rental prices. Of very low income (31-50% of area median income) renter households, 76% reported being cost burdened, and 35% reported extreme cost burdens. Extremely low income renter households reported more severe figures, with 86% being cost burdened, and 69% reporting extreme cost burdens.
Overall, the report found that Louisiana is experiencing a deficit of roughly 115,000 affordable and available homes for household renters at or below 50% of the area median income. While Louisiana reported better housing availability than many other states, the report also showed how far Louisiana and the country as a whole must go to meet the needs of low-income renter households.
Access the full report information and graphics here.