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(Re)Introducing the Housing Impact Report: 5 Key Facts You Need to Know

Formerly known as the PAHRC Report, the Housing Impact Report is an annual source for data and trends on the impact of housing assistance on people and places. Since 2012, the goal of this report has been to demonstrate the impact of housing assistance using the latest data and research. The facts and figures found inside will help housers, policy-makers, and advocates make the data-driven case for why housing assistance is an important policy priority, nationally and locally. Here are five key facts you can find in this year’s report.

  1. Who is served by federal housing assistance programs?Over 14 million people live in homes made affordable by federal programs that provide rent subsidies, tax credits, loans, or mortgage insurance to help house low-income families. This group includes over 5 million children, nearly 3 million seniors, 2.5 million disabled individuals, and almost half a million veterans.
  2. Who needs housing assistance, but does not receive it?Conservative estimates suggest that there are 12 million very low-income cost-burdened households that could benefit from housing assistance, but do not receive it. This number is up by over one-third since 2006 and could be higher since there are additional very low-income households that currently live in affordable homes, but may be doubled up with other households or may be living in sub-standard housing.
  3. What are the important trends emerging in who is served?The number of seniors served by housing assistance is increasing, up to an additional 4% between 2016 and 2017. This trend suggests that more health services, accessibility improvements, and transportation aids will be needed in many properties receiving federal assistance. Moreover, the number of seniors needing housing assistance but not receiving it has increased by two-thirds since 2006 and is expected to continue to climb as many Baby Boomers retire and deplete their savings.
  4. What are the main impacts of housing assistance on recipients?A home made affordable through housing assistance increases stability, improves health and education outcomes, boost financial security, and can lead to economic mobility for low-income families. Low-income assisted households report fewer evictions, children with higher earnings as adults, reduced odds of fair or poor health, and higher rates of children attending college than their low-income unassisted peers.
  5. What are the main barriers to economic mobility experienced by people selecting into housing assistance?Households selecting into housing assistance tend to be the most vulnerable to the effects of poverty. Household heads have lower levels of education, higher rates of chronic illness and health limitations, and report more instances of care-taking than their low-income unassisted peers. However, controlling for demographic differences and excluding disabled and elderly individuals, assisted adults are just as likely to be employed as their unassisted low-income peers. Yet they report more volatile work schedules than their low-income peers and face difficulties finding childcare, growing wage stagnation, and a lack of network opportunities for higher-paying jobs. Advancement opportunities and wages that are high enough to afford market rents, rather than simply plugging into the job market, could be game-changers in helping assisted households exit poverty.

We will be launching our 2018 Housing Impact Report during a live webinar on September 19, 2018 – please click here to register. We’ll be discussing the latest trends in housing assistance to help you advocate for greater resources and develop a fact-driven narrative about who receives housing assistance and how it benefits people and places. Be sure to check out last year’s report too, by clicking here.