There is more to housing than just physical shelter. It provides everyone a sense of belonging, a community to term as home, and a secure living environment says Maxwell Drever. If there is no stable housing, you generally don’t have financial security. And when there is no affordable place to reside, higher education, job training, medical treatment, and childcare are not possible.
Today, several Americans don’t have access to a stable and safe supply of affordable workforce housing. According to National Low Income Housing Coalition, the United States requires almost 7.2 million affordable housing units.
Affordable workforce housing has gained ample prominence. In this article, Maxwell Drever shares three crucial aspects about it.
There isn’t ample affordable housing supply to cater to the demand
Today, the United States requires almost 12 million affordable housing units. The available ones are more concerning. Approximately 35 of every 100 low-earning households have access to affordable housing. Also, that number increases a little to about 55 for the very low-earning families. However, The very low income refers to households with an income level of 31% to 50% of the AMI. Such numbers don’t comprise over 500,000 homeless Americans. The absence of an affordable housing supply indicates that more households are placing an increased percentage of their earnings on rent.
It is essential to focus on “severely rent burdened” and “rent burdened” Americans and understand the terms
The rent-burdened families spend close to 30% of their income on rent. On the other hand, the “severely rent-burdened” families need to spend over half of their earnings on rent. According to a Pew Charitable Trusts study done in 2015, close to two in every five renters fall into the rent-burdened category. About one in every family comes under the severely rent-burdened category. The percentage of rent-burdened families is on the rise.
These terms have technical meanings for the government. But it is an essential indicator that is essential for everyone. Having access to medical costs, health insurance, food, public transit expenses, and other crucial necessities is highly challenging when a considerable amount of money fulfills the rent. In such situations, the rent is a burden that saves families from long-term planning and allows them to get financially stable.
Maxwell Drever says that affordable housing can assist people who are residing “paycheck-to-paycheck”. Some families have benefited from affordable housing and also got in better budgeting. The families can pay high interest. Today, some families share how housing assistance helped them pay all their loans, which otherwise were accumulating into high amounts. The reasonable rents enable the tenants to avert opt-in for high-interest loans for costs like medicine, food, gas, school supplies and start to save on long-term objectives such as a house down payment, higher education, and job certifications.
These are three things that are essential to know about the affordable workforce housing crisis. It enables us to realize that a step in this direction will be of massive help to several low-income families.