No state in the nation has enough rental housing affordable to the lowest-income renters, according to the National Low-Income Housing Coalition’s annual “Gap” report. Specifically, a shortage of seven million affordable and available rental homes exists for extremely low-income renters, which are defined as those with household incomes at or below the poverty level or 30% of their area median income.
The report recommends increasing investments in low-income housing solutions such as the national Housing Trust Fund; protecting the existing supply of affordable homes; expanding and improving the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit so it serves more of the lowest-income families; and implementing a renters’ tax credit that targets low-income renters.
In North Carolina, only 43 affordable and available rental homes exist per 100 extremely low-income renter households (that is, households earning no more than 30 percent of the median income in their county).
The affordability gap is not limited to just extremely low-income renters. In an analysis of the most recent HUD and Census data on all low-income North Carolinians (including both renters and homeowners earning no more than 80 percent of area median income), the NC Housing Finance Agency found that for every eight households in need of affordable housing, only one unit exists.