Disabled can't afford housing, report shows: USA FWD

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Tue, 6 Apr 1999 17:32:49 -0700 (PDT)


FWD  Business Wire - April 06, 1999

     NEW REPORT SHOWS
     AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES
     CAN'T AFFORD DECENT HOUSING

WASHINGTON, D.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 6, 1999--Americans with
disabilities face a shortage of affordable housing, often forcing them to
accept substandard dwellings.

A collaborative report released yesterday by two national organizations
says this failure is due to the unwillingness of many housing officials to
acknowledge or address the real housing needs of these citizens.

The Technical Assistance Collaborative Inc. (TAC) and the Consortium for
Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) Housing Task Force, based in Washington,
D.C., provide details on this situation in Priced Out in 1998: The Housing
Crisis for People with Disabilities. The full report is available at the
website for Opening Doors, a publication on housing advocacy (
http://www.c-c-d.org/doors.html ).

The report uses the federal housing affordability standard for very low
income households which suggests that no more than 30 percent of monthly
income should be spent on housing.

In 1998 the federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program provided an
individual with a disability a monthly income of $494. Based on that
figure, people with disabilities receiving SSI benefits were "priced out"
of housing in every state - many unable to afford even a modest efficiency.

In addition to findings at the national level, Priced Out includes
geographically specific income and housing cost data for people with
disabilities receiving SSI in each of the 2,646 U.S. housing markets.

Individuals receiving SSI are among the lowest income households in the
country, the report says, noting SSI monthly benefit amounts to $3.09 per
hour, compared to the hourly minimum wage of $5.15.

Other findings included:

-- The national average income of an individual with a disability receiving
SSI is only 24.4 percent of a typical single income household.

-- The average cost nationally of a one-bedroom apartment is 69 percent of
SSI monthly income and more than a person's total monthly SSI income in 125
housing market areas of the country.

-- With few affordable options, people with disabilities continue to live
at home with aging parents, in crowded homeless shelters, or in
institutions. Many are forced to choose between seriously substandard
housing, and paying most of their monthly income for rent, the report says.

The report recommends that federal, state and local policymakers refocus
their housing policies, programs and resources to ensure that such people
do not continue to be "priced out" of the housing market.

For more information on affordable housing
issues visit TAC at http://www.tacinc.org and
the CCD Housing Task Force at
http://www.c-c-d.org/housing.html.

END FORWARD

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