NEW REPORT: Affordable Housing and Kentucky's Workforce
A sustainable landscape for affordable housing fosters economic development, stable communities, and economic growth and betters the surrounding area as a result. The Center for Housing Policy has found that affordable housing contributes to the development of short and long-term employment, stimulates the local economy, and improves fiscal conditions in towns and counties. Increased affordable housing in an area maintains a stable living environment by reducing evictions, food insecurity, and education gaps. Substantial research has also shown that increased access to affordable housing contributes to a decline in childhood poverty and an increase in social and economic mobility. The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) estimates that a shortage of affordable housing costs the United States $2 trillion each year because of limited opportunities, lower wages, and decreased productivity.
Despite the benefits of greater access to affordable housing, the NLIHC has calculated that a renter cannot afford a two-bedroom apartment at a minimum wage salary anywhere in the United States. On top of that, over 70% of rental households with low-income status expend more than half their income on rent. Prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States had an estimated shortage of seven million affordable housing units. Of the fifty most populous cities in the country, only six were deemed to have a “healthy” housing market. During the pandemic, the landscape of the housing market shifted drastically. The demand for houses increased as interest rates dropped, and those who could afford to buy homes did. These home sales coupled with an increase in resource costs for building homes have led to a seller’s market in which there is very low inventory. To further exacerbate the issue, the pandemic pushed nearly 14 million low-income renters out of employment, creating a continuous struggle for individuals to be able to afford rent.
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