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Research and Resources on Housing Insecurity

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.

Housing Affordability

Rental Housing Affordability – A Review of Current Research

Rental Housing Affordability – A Review of Current Research

Center for Housing Policy

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 State of the Nation’s Housing 2014: “Housing Challenges”

The State of the Nation’s Housing 2015

Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University

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.

America’s Rental Housing: Evolving Markets and Needs: Rental Housing Affordability

America’s Rental Housing: Evolving Markets and Needs: Rental Housing Affordability

Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University

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.

Housing Landscape 2015

Housing Landscape 2015: An Annual Look at the Housing Affordability Challenges of America’s Working Households

Center for Housing Policy

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.

Worst Case Housing Needs 2011

Worst Case Housing Needs 2015: Report to Congress – Summary

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

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

 

Housing Landscape 2015

Projecting Trends in Severely Cost-Burdened Renters

Enterprise Community Partners and the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies

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.

Homelessness

The 2014 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress

The 2014 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress: Part 1

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

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 State of Homelessness in America 2015

The State of Homelessness in America 2015

National Alliance to End Homelessness

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.

Housing Instability: A Continuum of Risk

Housing Instability: A Continuum of Risk

Institute for Children, Poverty & Homelessness

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.

Impacts of Housing Insecurity

Impact of Affordable Housing on Families and Communities: A Review of the Literature

Impact of Affordable Housing on Families and Communities: A Review of the Literature

Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.

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.

The Impact of Affordable Housing on Health: A Research Summary

The Impact of Affordable Housing on Health: A Research Summary

Center for Housing Policy

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.

The Impact of Affordable Housing on Education: A Research Summary

The Impact of Affordable Housing on Education: A Research Summary

Center for Housing Policy

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.

Behind Closed Doors: The hidden health impacts of being behind on rent

Behind Closed Doors: The Hidden Health Impacts of Being Behind on Rent

Children’s Health Watch

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.