By Elizabeth Zach, RCAC staff writer
Low-income workers throughout the country–in 99 percent of counties–cannot afford housing, say researchers in an annual report by the National Low Income housing Coalition (NLIHC).
The survey, titled “Out of Reach,” notes that while the federal minimum wage has remained at $7.25 for the past decade – since the financial crisis– rents have risen as much as 4 percent since 2012 in some areas. The issue has taken on importance for the upcoming presidential election, too, with candidates Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris all releasing plans to address the housing shortage.
“We now have a tremendous opportunity to implement federal housing policy solutions to fund affordable housing programs at the scale necessary,” Diane Yentel, NLIHC president said in a statement about the report. “We must use tools like Out of Reach to build the political will.”
The report cites more federal funding for programs like the Housing Trust Fund and the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) that can ease the affordable housing burden for low-income families.