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Publications in this section document the nature and extent of the nation’s affordable housing challenges, including analyses of trends and point-in-time snapshots. Several publications shed light on the the impacts of affordable housing on other outcomes. With a better understanding of local and national housing needs, practitioners and policymakers can work to develop appropriate solutions.
Housing serves as more than just shelter. Research has shown that affordable and stable housing can be a platform for families' education, health, and economic wellbeing (Brennan 2011; Brennan and Lubell 2012; Cohen 2011). An adequate supply of housing affordable to all residents contributes to a sustainable and diverse community. Because needs for lower-cost housing generally are not well served by the market, local governments, along with their private-sector and nonprofit partners, play a critical role in building and preserving affordable housing. A natural disaster highlights the difficulty local governments face in providing affordable housing.
Housing Landscape summarizes the severe housing cost burdens of low- and moderate-income working households. These low- and moderate-income households include full- and part-time workers who serve our communities and our economy in many capacities. Authors Mindy Ault, Lisa Sturtevant and Janet Viveiros examine how they are faced with significantly greater affordability challenges than the overall population. In 2013, 21.2 percent of working households were severely cost burdened (9.6 million households). Twenty-five percent of working renters and 17.1 percent of working homeowners paid more than half of their incomes for housing that year.
It is expected that the number of health care jobs in health practitioner offices and other non-hospital and nursing home settings will increase by 31 percent and home healthcare jobs will increase by 60 percent between 2012 and 2022.(By contrast the overall number of jobs in the U.S. is projected to increase by only nine percent.) However, growing job opportunities do not necessarily ensure that health workers will be able to afford homes in the communities where they work. This year’s edition of Paycheck to Paycheck examines housing affordability in 210 metro areas for workers in five important and growing health care occupations: medical records transcriptionist, medical billing clerk, home health aide, geriatric nurse, and case manager.
Even as the economy continues to improve, many American workers are still struggling to make ends meet. Authors Lisa Sturtevant and Janet Viveiros analyze 2009-2012 American Community Survey data to find that for millions of households, housing costs account for more than half of the household's monthly income. And even though the share of working households with a severe housing cost burden fell in 2012, housing affordability remains a severe challenge for millions of working individuals and families. Renter households are more than twice as likely to be housing cost burdened than owner households. In 2012, 24.7 percent of all renter households were severely burdened compared to 10.5 percent of all owner households.
This brief is designed to provide affordable housing advocates and practitioners with information on the lessons learned from research about how to effectively communicate about affordable housing with the public and policymakers. This brief draws from 35 research studies related to affordable housing communications and summarizes key findings about public opinion, messages, and suggestions for further research that could add to our understanding of how to communicate effectively about housing affordability.