FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 18, 2021
CONTACT: Andrew Bradley, Policy Director, Prosperity Indiana, email@example.com
AFFORDABLE HOUSING SUPPLY IN INDIANA IS INSUFFICIENT, ESPECIALLY FOR FAMILIES WITH LOWEST INCOMES
The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes, a new report released today by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) and Prosperity Indiana, finds a national shortage of nearly seven million affordable and available rental homes for extremely low-income (ELI) renter households, those with incomes at or below the poverty level or 30 percent of their area median income. There are just 37 affordable and available rental homes for every 100 ELI renter households nationwide. Seventy percent of the poorest renter households are severely housing cost-burdened, spending more than half of their incomes on housing, with little left over for other basic necessities. The report shows that, even before COVID-19 devastated many low-income households, they were already struggling to afford their rent. Every year, The Gap reports on the severe shortage of affordable rental homes available to extremely low-income families and individuals.
“While Indiana likes to tout being an affordable place to live, I think two questions need to be asked: for whom and compared to what? In looking at the data, what we see is how Indiana continues to fail our lowest-income renters, especially when compared to our peers. Only one Midwest state is less affordable than Indiana,” said Jessica Love, executive director of Prosperity Indiana.
In Indiana, only 75,219 affordable rental homes are available for the 202,171 extremely low-income Hoosier households. That means there are only 37 affordable and available rental homes for every 100 households with extremely low incomes, tied for the second-lowest rate among 12 Midwest states. Approximately 72 percent of Hoosier renters with extremely low incomes are severely cost burdened and at risk of homelessness, which is the second-highest rate in the Midwest.
According to NLIHC and Prosperity Indiana, without public subsidies, the private market does not provide an adequate supply of rental housing affordable to low-income households. Both groups note that, even if rents fall during an economic downturn, they will not fall sufficiently to provide extremely low-income renters with an adequate supply of affordable housing. They say a downturn often leads to property owners abandoning rental housing or converting it to other uses when rental income is too low to cover basic operating costs and maintenance, making the housing affordability crisis worse.
Love said, “What this new data says about Hoosiers is that our most vulnerable families remain at risk of housing instability, which impacts job stability, and now also public health, and threatens the state's economic recovery. We need our Congressional delegation to step up as champions for policies that help these Hoosiers experience housing affordability, not just short-term housing stability as part of an immediate rescue plan, but looking beyond the pandemic to real and lasting solutions.”
Both NLIHC and Prosperity Indiana advocate for increased production and preservation of affordable rental housing, an increase in rental assistance resources for lowest income households, a stabilization fund to prevent evictions, and stronger legal protections for renters.
For additional information, visit: https://nlihc.org/gap
About Prosperity Indiana
The Indiana Association for Community Economic Development d/b/a Prosperity Indiana builds a better future for our communities by providing advocacy, leveraging resources, and engaging an empowered network of members to create inclusive opportunities that build assets and improve lives. Since its founding in 1986, Prosperity Indiana has grown to nearly 200 members from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.