Illinois has only 35 available, affordable rental homes for every 100 extremely low-income households; investment in capital budget would help alleviate shortage

For Immediate Release: March 14, 2019
For more information contact:
Timm Krueger, Communications Consultant, Housing Action Illinois, or 312-939-6074 ext. 205

CHICAGO – A new report released today by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) and Housing Action Illinois finds a national shortage of nearly seven million affordable and available rental homes for extremely low-income (ELI) renter households. The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes, reports on the severe shortage of affordable rental homes available to financially-vulnerable families and individuals. 

  • There are just 35 affordable and available rental homes for every 100 ELI renter households in Illinois.
  • Extremely low-income renter households are those with incomes at or below the poverty line, or 30% of their area median income. In Illinois, a four-person household qualifies as ELI if their annual income is $24,600 or less
  • 72%of the poorest renter households in our state are severely housing cost-burdened, spending more than half of their income on housing, with little left over for other basic necessities. This puts them on the brink, just one financial setback away from eviction and homelessness. 

“We have the opportunity to reduce the gap in the supply of affordable housing by allocating $1 billion for affordable housing in Illinois’ next capital budget,” says Housing Action Illinois’ Policy Director Bob Palmer. “This investment would enable us to build at least 10,000 affordable rental homes for working families, seniors, veterans and people who need supportive housing.” 

This would also create 16,000 jobs in the first year alone and generate $755 million in taxes and other revenue for local governments, as well as $3.9 billion in local income over the course of 15 years. 

“We need policies and investments that make sure good places to live are within reach for everyone,” explains Sharon Legenza, Executive Director of Housing Action Illinois. “We’re all in this together. Our state’s ability to thrive depends on policies that lower housing costs and help end homelessness. This is critical to keep Illinoisans living in Illinois.”

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