NAHRO CEO's Statement on State of the Nation's Housing Report
Congratulations to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies on this 30th anniversary of the State of the Nation’s Housing report. NAHRO is proud to be a sponsor of this important annual document, which both measures the progress we’ve made and highlights the challenges and opportunities ahead.
The report demonstrates what NAHRO members are seeing on the ground: lack of affordable housing is not just a low-income issue. It is now impacting middle-class families throughout the country. Our affordable housing issue has become a housing affordability problem. The potent combination of soaring housing costs, weak income growth, and insufficient supply of affordable homes has forced 38.1 million households to spend more than 30 percent of their incomes on housing in 2016 – that’s nearly half of today’s renters. A quarter of those renters are severely burdened – they need to pay half or more of their incomes every month just to keep a roof over their heads. To make matters worse, increases in federal rental assistance, which help the most vulnerable families, have lagged far behind the growth of the number of renters with very low incomes.
But it is not too late to turn the tide. NAHRO agrees that national efforts are needed to close the affordability gap. We need to increase the amount of reasonably-priced homes available for all Americans by creating comprehensive partnerships between federal, state and local governments, as well as the public, private, and non-profit sectors. These initiatives must work with - not in place of - robust federal support of public housing capital needs, additional rental assistance, and flexibility that allows localities to shape programs that work best for their communities. We have the tools; we now need the political will necessary to sharpen them.
NAHRO, established in 1933, is a membership organization of almost 20,000 housing and community development agencies and professionals throughout the United States whose mission is to create affordable housing and safe, viable communities that enhance the quality of life for all Americans, especially those of low- and moderate-income. NAHRO's membership administers more than 3 million housing units for 7.6 million people.
Contact: Sylvia Gimenez