CHICAGO – The GAP: A Shortage of Affordable Homes, a new report co-released today by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) and Housing Action Illinois, finds a shortage of 324,178 affordable and available rental homes in Illinois for extremely low income (ELI) renter households, those with incomes at or below 30% of their area median income or the poverty guideline. The report calls for a rebalancing of federal housing expenditures to serve households with the greatest needs. Nationally, there is shortage of 7.4 million affordable and available rental homes for ELI households.

The study finds there are just 32 affordable and available units for every 100 ELI renter households in Illinois and that 74% of those households are severely cost-burdened, spending more than half of their income on housing. After paying their rent, these households have insufficient resources left for other necessities like food, medicine, transportation, or child care. They are often just one financial setback away from eviction and homelessness.

“The report confirms that we should be putting more resources into creating affordable housing. Unfortunately, right now we have to work on protecting the limited federal resources we already have for affordable housing because of anticipated cuts to be proposed by the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress,” said Bob Palmer, Policy Director for Housing Action Illinois. “Instead of proposing cuts, legislators should be using the opportunity of tax reform to help our communities. Through modest changes to housing tax expenditures, we can create significant new affordable housing resources for people who need help the most.”

The NLIHC-led United for Homes campaign calls for rebalancing federal housing expenditures, 75% of which currently benefit higher income homeowners, to invest in affordable housing for the poorest households. The campaign calls for changes to the mortgage interest deduction that would benefit millions of additional lower income homeowners and generate billions of dollars in savings for investments in affordable rental housing.

The GAP: A Shortage of Affordable Homes is available at: http://nlihc.org/research/gap-report

For more information on the United for Homes campaign, visit http://unitedforhomes.org.

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National Low Income Housing Coalition

Established in 1974 by Cushing N. Dolbeare, the National Low Income Housing Coalition is dedicated solely to achieving socially just public policy that assures people with the lowest income in the United States have affordable and decent homes.

Housing Action Illinois

Housing Action Illinois is a statewide coalition that has been fighting to protect and expand the availability of quality, affordable housing for three decades. Our members include housing counseling agencies, homeless service providers, developers of affordable housing, and policymakers.