Seniors Have the Steepest Housing Challenge

Legislation | August 16, 2017 | by Colleen Bloom, Bendix Anderson

According to HUD's 2017 Worst Case Housing Needs report, the number of low-income unsubsidized families struggling to pay their rent and possibly living in substandard housing increased between 2013 and 2015.  In a recent article in Multifamily Executive, Linda Couch, LeadingAge vice president of housing policy, discussed the question of how to help today’s older population who needs affordable housing at an ever-growing rate.  

According to HUD, the proportion of very low-income renters with worst case needs increased among all household types in 2015; increasing 40 percent for elderly households without children.

During 2015, 1.85 million elderly renters had worst case needs, an increase of 382,000 since 2013. The proportion of elderly very low-income renters with worst case needs was 39.8 percent in 2015, less than the rate for families with children but representing a 2.6-point increase since 2013. Poor elderly households that rely on fixed incomes rather than wages may be less likely to benefit from economic recovery trends that raised incomes for others in recent years.

"There’s a huge gulf between what the housing we need looks like and what [there] is," said Couch. “I am a proponent of more of everything.”

Read the full article

Read HUD's Worst Case Housing Needs report.