There is a significant gap between the need for and the supply of affordable housing in the United States, according to a new report from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The size of the gap can probably best be summarized by the dramatic fact that “more than a third of U.S. households live in housing that exceeds their means,” the report says. In addition to the financial burdens this gap places on families and communities, numerous studies have found direct links between affordable housing and positive health, education, economic and other outcomes.

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(Source: MBA)

The MBA report cites 2011 data from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies and the American Community Survey that shows there are more than 10 million households earning less than $15,000 per year, and some 8.5 million of these households — 83% — paid 30% of their income or more for housing.

Another 9.6 million household earned between $15,000 and $30,000 per year, of which more than 7 million, or 75%, paid 30% or more of their income for housing.

“The increasing number of households facing moderate or severe rent burdens over time has been driven by the increase in renter households falling into the lowest income groups. Between 2001 and 2011, there was an increase of 4.2 million renter households in the US earning less than $30,000 a year,” the MBA report says.

  • The housing needs of low- and very-low-income households, whose incomes are not enough to cover the costs of building and maintaining safe and decent housing.
  • The need for moderate-income, workforce housing, and the struggle to supply adequate affordable housing near job centers.
  • The housing needs of special populations, who have special housing requirements that are not naturally met in full by the housing market.

Read the full report here