HUD Releases Worst Case Housing Needs 2011 Report
On February 22, 2013, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released Worst Case Housing Needs 2011: A Summary Report to Congress which examines the causes of and trends in worst case needs for affordable rental housing. HUD defines 'worst case housing needs' as renters with very low incomes (below half the median in their area) who do not receive government housing assistance and who either paid more than half their monthly incomes for rent, lived in severely substandard conditions, or both.
Based on data from HUD's 2011 American Housing Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 8.5 million low-income families had worst case housing needs. This represents a 19 percent increase from 2009, and a 43 percent increase since 2007. Nearly one in six renters with worst case needs included a nonelderly person with disabilities. The number of households with worst case needs having at least one nonelderly person with disabilities increased from 990,000 in 2009 to 1.31 million households in 2011, an increase of 320,000 households.
According to the report, the number of 'worst case' renter households increased primarily because a substantial number of homeowners became renters as a result of economic and housing market conditions such as unemployment and foreclosures. The report concludes that the scale of the problem requires major strategic decisions. While the nation's economic woes affected everyone, those with very low-incomes were least able to weather its effects.