Urban Institute Sees Deplorable Affordable Housing Crisis in Atlanta

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(APN) ATLANTA — The Urban Institute has released an interactive map showing where the nation’s affordable housing crisis is most acute.  Not surprisingly, Fulton and DeKalb Counties are among the worst, in terms of the availability of housing that actual people can afford.

 

The Urban Institute states:

 

“Many Americans struggle to afford a decent, safe place to live in today’s market.  Over the past five years, rents have risen while the number of renters who need moderately priced housing has increased.  As defined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), extremely low-income households earn 30 percent or less of area median income.

 

“Not one county in the United States has an even balance between its ELI [extremely low-income] households and its affordable and available rental units.  As a result, ELI households have to search harder for a place to live, spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent, or live in substandard housing.

 

“Some markets are tighter than others.  Of the top 100 US counties in 2012, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, has the smallest gap in units affordable and available for every 100 ELI households; Cobb County, Georgia, has the largest. [emphasis added]

 

This situation would be much worse without HUD rental assistance, which helps almost 3.2 million ELI households afford homes.  HUD assistance comes in three forms: public housing, Housing Choice Vouchers, and privately owned but federally assisted housing.  Without HUD rental assistance, the number of affordable and available rental units for ELI households would significantly decrease.”

 

In Fulton County, the numbers are not encouraging.  For every one hundred ELI households, there are only 29 affordable units available.  An ELI household includes four people with an annual income of less than 20,800 dollars.

 

There are 49,996 total ELI households in Fulton County; 14,305 available and affordable rental units; the gap between households and available units is 35,691; there are 17,148 ELI households in affordable units with HUD assistance.

 

In Dekalb County the situation is even more dire.  For every 100 ELI households there are only fourteen affordable units available.

 

There are 31,063 total ELI households in Dekalb County; 4,493 available an affordable rental units; the gap between households and available units is 26,570; there are 7,390 ELI households in affordable units with HUD assistance.

 

While Fulton has more households in need, Dekalb is barely squeaking by with offers of affordable housing.

 

Cobb County is the worst county in the country for ELI households.  Only three rental units are available for every one hundred ELI households; there are 20,488 ELI households in Cobb County; 564 available units; a gap of 19,924; and 2,910 in affordable units with HUD assistance.

 

This is nothing short of a crisis that has yet to be addressed in the Atlanta Metro Area.

 

City, County, and State leaders from Fulton to Dekalb to Cobb [and even Clayton, whose numbers come close to Cobb] have done virtually NOTHING to address households in need.  Households, meaning children.

 

More time MUST be spent on an affordable housing program that will meet that needs of households living in destitute poverty levels.  Shame on those officials holding office today who have not made this a platform priority.

 

(END/2014)

 

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