HousingWire

10 places in America with massive rental housing gaps

Not a single rental market accommodates low-income renters well

March 3, 2014

In the years since the housing bubble exploded, rental rates have risen while the number of renters who need moderately priced housing has increased.

For the very poor households in America, this pressure is even worse.

For every 100 extremely low-income (ELI) renter households in the country, there are only 29 affordable and available rental units.

(To be considered “extremely low-income” a household must have an income less than 30% of the regional median.)

Not one county in the United States has an even balance between its ELI households and its affordable and available rental units.

As a result, ELI households have to search harder for a place to live, spend more than 30% of their income on rent, or live in substandard housing.

Some markets are tighter than others and no county in the United States has an even balance between its ELI households and its affordable and available rental units.

The Urban Institute has created an interactive map, seen here, for users to drill down to the county level.

Which 10 counties have the greatest gap between the number of extreme low-income households and the number of available, affordable rental units?

Here are numbers six through 10.

10) DeKalb County, Ga.

14.5 units per 100 ELI households

With 31,063 extremely low-income households, there are only 4,493 affordable and available rental units.

 

9) Broward County, Fla.

14.3 units per 100 ELI households

The South Florida metro area had 54,736 ELI households and only 7,800 affordable and available rental units.

 

8) Maricopa County, Ariz.

14.1 units per 100 ELI households

The largest population area in the top 10, there were 126,433 ELI households and only 17,884 affordable and available rental units.

 

7) Gwinnett County, Ga.

13.7 units per 100 ELI households

The Atlanta suburban community has 19,084 ELI households and only 2,622 affordable and available rental units.

 

6) Orange County, Fla.

13.2 units per 100 ELI households

The Florida county has 36,927 ELI households, but only 4,881 affordable and available rental units.

 

Click below for numbers one through five.



5) Travis County, Texas

13.1 units per 100 ELI households

The large percentage of undocumented households contributes to Travis County’s challenge, with 50,093 ELI households and just 6.585 affordable and available rental units.

 

4) Clark County, Nev.

12.6 units per 100 ELI households

The metro has 61,851 ELI renter households and 7,630 affordable and available rental units.

 

3) Denton County, Texas

9.5 units per 100 ELI households

There’s very little low-income rental housing in North Texas. With 15,552 ELI households, there are just 1,483 affordable and available rental units.

 

2) Lee County, Fla.

9 units per 100 ELI households

There were 13,792 ELI households in the Fort Myers area county, and only 1,232 affordable and available rental units.

And the county with the biggest gap is...

1) Cobb County, Ga.

2.8 units per 100 ELI households

The north of Atlanta area has long been a direction for urban flight from Atlanta, and apparently the area doesn’t want to welcome the challenges low income residents present. There were 20,488 ELI renter households in the county, with just 563 affordable and available rental units.