March 14, 2017 Neighborhoods ·

Affordable housing problems aren’t just where you think

Originally published by The Seattle Times →

The Seattle Times | Beyond Seattle’s skyrocketing housing prices, an affordability problem looms larger for millions of families nationwide. This is the rental prices that the lowest income encounter — and they’re brutal.

The worst metro for an extremely low-income household to find a place to rent is…Las Vegas.

This is the conclusion of a new report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Behind Vegas are LA, Houston, Orlando and San Diego. Housing-abundant Phoenix makes the top 10. Metro Seattle doesn’t. Perhaps counterintuitively, Boston does best among metros.

Here are some numbers: Las Vegas had 12 affordable units per 100 extremely low-income households. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue had 29 and Portland 27. All were below the national average.

Among states, Nevada (15 units), California, Arizona, Colorado and Florida ranked worst. But Washington wasn’t doing much better. The report calculated only 30 units are available for every 100 extremely low-income household. Such renters, numbering 11.4 million households, are at or below the poverty line, or 30 percent of area median income. Affordable is defined as rent and utilities costing 30 percent or less of total income. Of this cohort nationally, 71 percent spent more than half of their income on housing.

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