Rent Unaffordable for 5.3 million US families: HUD report FWD

Tom Boland (
Wed, 29 Apr 1998 12:04:08 -0700 (PDT)
FWD  Wednesday, April 29, 1998 - Washington Post


WASHINGTON (AP) -- A record 5.3 million low-income American families are
unable to find affordable housing, according to a report from Housing
Secretary Andrew Cuomo.

``The report makes it clear that the federal government must significantly
enhance its efforts to create more affordable housing opportunities,''
Cuomo said Tuesday. ``The strong economy that has brought prosperity to
millions of Americans has not reduced the affordable housing crisis for
millions of others.''

Cuomo said the 5.3 million low-income households represent some 12.5
million people who are eligible for HUD-subsidized housing but can't get it
because of lack of financing. The report defined the low-income households
as those with a yearly income less than $13,590 for a family of four and
less than $10,872 for a family of two.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development's report, to be used to
lobby Congress for more money, found:

--While the overall U.S. economy was good and getting better, American
households with acute housing needs grew by nearly 400,000 over five years
to 5.3 million in 1995. It has held steady thereafter.

--The number of affordable apartments for people with very low incomes fell
by 900,000 from 1993 to 1995.

--The number of poor, working families needing housing assistance increased
by 265,000, or 24 percent, from 1991 to 1995.

--The number of suburban households with serious housing needs increased by
146,000, or 9 percent, from 1991 to 1995.

The Clinton administration is asking Congress for $585 million for 103,000
rental assistance vouchers; $135 million for expanded homeless grants; $11
million for a new HOME bank to finance affordable housing and an expansion
of the low-income housing tax credit.


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