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KERA's One Crisis Away project focuses on North Texans living on the financial edge.

In DFW, There Are 19 Affordable Rental Homes For Every 100 Poor Renters, Report Shows

Marc Bruxelle

Across the United States, there isn't enough affordable housing for those who need it-- only 35 affordable rental homes for every 100 poor families, and the situation is worse in North Texas. That’s according to a new report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Andrew Aurand, vice president of research for the organization, shares a picture of affordable housing in Dallas, Fort Worth and beyond.

  Interview Highlights: Andrew Aurand On…

…how Texas compares to the U.S. when it comes to available affordable housing: “Nationally, there’s about 35 rental homes that are affordable and available for every 100 extremely low-income renters. Texas as a state is a little bit worse. There’s only 29 homes available for every 100 extremely low-income renters. In the Dallas area, it’s even worse, there’s only about 19 rental homes for every 100 extremely low-income renters. Of the 50 largest metro areas Dallas Fort Worth area one of the worst.”

…whether low-income families rent places out of their price range: “About 71 percent of extremely low-income renters spend more than half of their income on rent. And that’s a problem, because if you spend more than half of your income on rent, you have a lot fewer resources for other necessities, like food, medicine, childcare, and that’s what people have to choose to do because you need shelter. So, usually the rent gets paid first, and then you sacrifice other things.”

…the solution to getting more people in long-term affordable housing: “Extremely low-income households don’t have enough income to afford housing in the marketplace, so they need rental assistance such as vouchers. In other markets there needs to be development, because there’s not enough housing development. If you think about what extremely low-income renters can afford to pay, to develop new housing costs much more than that. Like what an extremely low-income renter can afford to pay doesn’t cover the land cost, the construction cost, and so subsidies are needed to produce that housing.”

Courtney Collins has been working as a broadcast journalist since graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 2004. Before coming to KERA in 2011, Courtney worked as a reporter for NPR member station WAMU in Washington D.C. While there she covered daily news and reported for the station’s weekly news magazine, Metro Connection.