Nearly 19 million low-income U.S. households pay over half their income on housing, and hundreds of thousands more have no home at all. Not only does housing insecurity make it incredibly more difficult for these families to move up and out of poverty, but it has side-effects that ripple through every other aspects of their lives and communities.
The following are resources and research to help you learn and speak about this crucial issue and its impact.
This research summary provides an overview of the U.S. rental market, the need for affordable housing and the consequences of unaffordable housing for renters and families. This helpful introduction to the issue draws on research from the Center for Housing Policy, the Joint Center for Housing Studies and the National Low Income Housing Coalition, and includes a discussion of different approaches to measuring “affordability.”
The full report examines housing markets and activity in the U.S., with one chapter (6: Housing Challenges ) focusing on cost-burdened households – both renters and homeowners. Drawing on recent data, the report provides an updated look at the share of cost-burdened households nationwide, their characteristics, and the consequences of unaffordable housing. The information is presented in the context of the past few years, and the current policy environment is discussed as well.
The full report, published in 2013, examines the rental housing market nationwide – the demand, supply, market conditions, affordability and relevant policy. The chapter Rental Housing Affordability provides recent, additional details about cost-burdened renters, breaking data down geographically and by income bracket. It also examines the market for affordable housing, and discusses the role energy costs play in renter cost burdens.
Researchers use American Community Survey data to analyze the extent of cost-burdened households nationwide, with a specific focus on working households. It examines the extent of affordability challenges for this group, the reasons behind it, and highlights the need to create more affordable housing.
Released in 2015, this report examines the “worst case housing needs” – specifically, the needs of very low-income renters experiencing severe rent burdens or living in severely inadequate conditions (or both), and are not receiving government support for housing. The summary provides a short, data-driven discussion of the causes and trends in worst case needs, and the full report can be found here
An analysis by Enterprise Community Partners and the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, finds that the number of households spending 50 percent or more of their income on rent is expected to rise at least 11 percent from 11.8 million to 13.1 million by 2025. At a time when rents are rising, incomes are stagnating and homeownership rates are declining, the number of renters facing affordability challenges has increased significantly.
This report presents the most recent data on homelessness in the United States. Estimates of homelessness are provided at national and state levels, and by household type (families and individuals) and subpopulations (youth, veterans, and the chronically homeless). The data is from the 2014 Point-In-Time (PIT) and Housing Inventory (HIC) counts conducted in January 2014. HUD also provides the data sets from the counts in Excel form on their website.
The fourth in a series, this report examines recent trends in: homelessness, the populations at-risk of homelessness, and the assistance available to the homeless. It provides valuable context for understanding the issue by examining associated issues – such as unemployment, poverty and housing cost burdens – and by reviewing current shelter system capacity and national policy.
This research brief uses data from a national survey to explore connections across multiple causes of family homelessness, such as family instability, employment problems, and health concerns. It also examines how a family's probability of needing shelter rises and falls depending on how these risk factors combine.
This literature review from Enterprise’s Knowledge, Impact and Strategy team summarizes what we currently know from research about the effects of stable and affordable housing. We condense this research into defensible points – backed by solid supporting evidence – to serve as a resource for understanding and communicating the many impacts of affordable housing.
This 2011 document surveys the literature on how affordable housing impacts health outcomes for children and families. Organized by hypotheses, it presents the current academic research around each, and is an update on a 2007 literature review.
This research review, released in 2014, summarizes the academic research on the ways affordable housing may affect the educational outcomes of children. It is organized by hypotheses and discusses the research around each, and is an update to the previous literature reviews from 2007 and 2011.
This report examines the impacts of housing instability on the health of young children and mothers. Though the report is framed with a focus on Massachusetts – especially for its policy recommendations – the first part does examine the issue and present data at a national level.