NLIHC releases periodic reports, research notes and white papers on a variety of housing policy issues, like renters in foreclosure, assisted housing preservation and other emerging issues.
New Report on the Current Situation Low-Income Renters Face and Their Needs in the Coming Months
The report provides an overview of what we have learned over the last year and a half from the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey and other sources. Approximately 6.5 million renter households were behind on rent in early July, though the largest surveys do not yet provide an estimate of the aggregate size of accumulating rental arrears. Surveys suggest that many renters have paid the rent only by relying on unsustainable, harmful methods like taking on additional debt or cutting back on basic needs. The note also explains why we have good reason to believe renters of color, low-income renters, and renters with lower educational attainment are experiencing greater struggles.
New Report – Direct-to-Tenant Payment Implementation: Increasing Flexibility and Equity in Emergency Rental Assistance Programs
The COVID-19 crisis and the accompanying economic fallout has left millions of low-income renters unable to pay their rent, putting them at risk of eviction and homelessness. As of mid-June, nearly six million renter households were behind on rent, accounting for more than 14% of all renter households. Of households behind on rent, approximately 43.4% reported it was very likely or somewhat likely that they would move in the next month due to eviction.
New Report – Taking Stock: Natural Hazards and Federally Assisted Housing
The Public and Affordable Research Corporation (PAHRC) and the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) released a joint report today examining the locations of project-based federally assisted properties in relation to risks for 18 types of natural hazards ranging from flooding and hurricanes to earthquakes and wildfires. The report finds that one-third of federally assisted homes are in areas at very high or relatively high risk for negative impacts from natural hazards compared to one-quarter of all renter-occupied homes and just 14% of owner-occupied homes.
Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance Programs in 2021: Analysis of a National Survey
NLIHC, the University of Pennsylvania’s Housing Initiative at Penn, and the NYU Furman Center’s newest report, “Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance Programs in 2021: Analysis of a National Survey,” provides an initial analysis of key program design features of Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) programs and compares results to NLIHC’s ERA program-tracking database as well as results from the three organizations’ previous survey in the fall of 2020. The survey took place in April 2021, and the results reflect key program design features of early implementers of the Treasury ERA program. Two additional rounds of surveys will help us better understand how programs adapt and change and how different program features translate to outcomes.
NLIHC & IERE Report on the Racial Inequity of the Mortgage Interest Deduction
The report explains why 90% of benefits of the MID go to taxpayers with annual incomes greater than $100,000. Since the 2017 tax law went into effect, most modest- and low-income households take the standard tax deduction rather than itemizing their deductions and, therefore, do not claim the MID. The report also examines the racial and ethnic disparities in who benefits from the MID. Because white households are more likely than Black and Latino households to be homeowners with mortgages, they are more likely to take the deduction. White households comprise 66% of the U.S. population but received 71% of the estimated MID benefit in 2018.
Prioritization in Emergency Rental Assistance Programs’ to Better Serve Priority Populations
To maximize the number of people in priority populations (extremely low-income households, people of color, and other marginalized people most in need) receiving emergency rental assistance, program administrators must center those priority populations in the key steps of program administration: (1) determining the priority population; (2) program budgeting & setting benchmarks; (3) conducting robust tenant & landlord outreach; (4) providing ample intake support for tenants and landlords; (5) selecting applicants and providing services; and (6) monitoring and evaluation. The report includes resources and examples from state and local programs around the country to illustrate the variety of strategies used to prioritize populations.
Learning from Emergency Rental Assistance Programs: Lessons from Fifteen Case Studies
The U.S. Department of Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance program, as established by the most recently passed coronavirus relief package, includes $25 billion in rental assistance, which can cover an eligible household’s rent and utilities for a maximum of 15 months, including past due and future payments. At least 35 programs, nearly half of which are statewide, are already accepting applicants. Another 400 state and local jurisdictions and nearly 240 tribal governments, are either ramping up their existing rental assistance programs to get this unprecedented volume of funds out the door or preparing to implement rental assistance for the first time.
Advancing Racial Equity in Emergency Rental Assistance Programs"
The NYU Furman Center, together with the Housing Initiative at Penn and the National Low Income Housing Coalition, recently co-authored a report describing these “first-generation” COVID rental assistance programs, based on a survey of 220 programs across the country. This brief draws upon the analysis from that survey, along with additional document review and interviews with selected program administrators. Based on these sources, the brief highlights several lessons about strategies states and localities can use to design and implement more equitable emergency rental assistance programs.
Joint Report “COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance: Analysis of a National Survey of Programs"
NLIHC, the University of Pennsylvania’s Housing Initiative at Penn, and the NYU Furman Center’s for Real Estate and Urban Policy’s new report, “COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance: Analysis of a National Survey of Programs,” provides an analysis of key emergency rental assistance program design and implementation decisions from a national survey of over 200 program administrators. The report examines program decisions against several outcome metrics, including a ratio of actual number of applicants to expected number of applicants and funds obligated as a share of total program funds. Program administrators provided responses to the survey in August, September, and October 2020, and many provided follow-up responses to requests for outcome data in December 2020 and January 2021.
NLIHC Report “Best Practices for State and Local Emergency Rental Assistance Programs"
NLIHC’s newest report, “Best Practices for State and Local Emergency Rental Assistance Programs,” outlines key considerations for implementing an emergency rental assistance (ERA) program using the $25 billion for ERA in the recent COVID-19 relief package. The report provides best practices and examples from state and local programs around the country. The guidance is informed by NLIHC’s ongoing research on ERA programs and the insights and experiences of state and local housing advocates. Above all, NLIHC recommends that program administrators create simple and accessible application processes to efficiently and effectively deliver rental assistance to tenants most in need.
NLIHC & i4J Report: “Costs Associated with Eviction-Related Homelessness"
NLIHC and the Innovation for Justice (i4J) Program at the University of Arizona released a research note on the public costs of eviction-related homelessness that the U.S. will incur if emergency rental assistance is not provided. In addition to the cruelty of throwing people out of their homes during a pandemic, a wave of evictions would create significant downstream costs for public health and social service systems. Depending on how many renters lost their homes, the cost of these social services could be as high as $129 billion.
NLIHC Report: “Housing is Healthcare: Challenges, Best Practices, and Policy Recommendations to Improve FEMA Programs to House People Experiencing Homelessness in Non-Congregate Shelters During the Pandemic"
NLIHC released a new report, “Housing is Healthcare: Challenges, Best Practices, and Policy Recommendations to Improve FEMA Programs to House People Experiencing Homelessness in Non-Congregate Shelters During the Pandemic.” The report documents the hurdles state and local governments and homeless service providers face when using FEMA Public Assistance (PA) funds to house people experiencing homelessness in hotels during the pandemic. The report also highlights success stories and opportunities to apply lessons learned to a future pandemic or the next wave of this one.
NLIHC Research Note: “Emergency Rental Assistance Programs in Response to COVID-19”
"Emergency Rental Assistance Programs in Response to COVID-19" provides a descriptive analysis of over 440 rental assistance programs created or expanded in response to COVID-19. The analysis provides insight into how programs are funded, designed, and implemented. The report finds that, although state and local governments have allocated at least $3.9 billion to emergency rental assistance, the magnitude and duration of need far outstrip available assistance. Most programs (81%) only provide short-term relief up to three months despite the much longer duration thus far of the pandemic and its economic fallout. Furthermore, too few programs specifically target extremely low-income renters, those with the greatest needs.
NLIHC Research Note: Long-Term State and Local Rental Assistance Programs - Finding Solutions For a Growing Crisis
This research note discusses the funding and operating of state and local rental assistance programs in the midst of the COVID-19 and economic crisis. Before the pandemic, many states and several large cities were already funding and operating rental assistance programs. In response to the pandemic, many jurisdictions have created or expanded emergency rental assistance programs, funded through a range of federal (e.g., CARES Act), state, and local resources.
NLIHC Research Note: Emergency Rental Assistance Needs for Workers Struggling Due to COVID-19
This research note shows how the COVID-19 outbreak and related shutdowns continue to have a devastating impact on the job market. Evidence suggests that lower-wage workers are the most likely to be suffering a loss of income.
NLIHC Research Note Highlights The Need for Emergency Rental Assistance During the COVID-19 and Economic Crisis
This research note investigates the need for emergency rental assistance in cost-burdened households in the midst of COVID-19 and the economic and unemployment crisis. Providing temporary rental assistance to current and projected severely cost-burdened renters would keep at-risk tenants stably housed and protect and preserve our country’s limited naturally-occurring affordable housing.
NLIHC Report on Long-Term Rental Recovery after Superstorm Sandy Shows Loss of Low-Income Rentals, More Needs to be Done for Low-Income Survivors.
The report shows a loss of low-income rentals and gentrification in heavily impacted communities. Interviews conducted by NLIHC for this study highlight the limited targeting of recovery funds for renters with the lowest incomes, the long recovery time needed for multifamily housing, and potential challenges in recovery for small landlords. Learn More
Balancing Priorities: Preservation and Neighborhood Opportunity in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program Beyond Year 30
The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) is the largest national affordable housing program in the U.S. By 2030, nearly half a million current LIHTC units, or nearly a quarter of the total stock will reach the end of all federally mandated rent-affordability and income restrictions. Some of these units will be lost from the affordable housing supply as they convert to market-rate rents. Others may be lost to physical deterioration unless new capital investment is available for rehabilitation and renovation. This report sheds light on these preservation challenges with an examination of the neighborhood characteristics of these LIHTC units and a discussion of how scarce resources for affordable housing lead to a dilemma between the priorities of preserving affordable housing and promoting mobility for low-income families to higher-opportunity neighborhoods. The report addresses this dilemma by offering a broader vision for a housing safety net. Learn More
A Rare Occurrence: The Geography and Race of Mortgages Over $500,000
In A Rare Occurrence: The Geography and Race of Mortgages Over $500,000, the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) has analyzed the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data for all government-insured and conventional mortgages originated from 2012, 2013, and 2014 for home purchase or refinancing. The study looks at the geography of mortgages over $500,000 and who receives them in terms of the race of the recipients of these mortgages. Given that mortgages over $500,000 are a rare occurrence in most of the United States, the report invalidates critics’ fears that lowering the Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID) cap to $500,000 will affect home prices nationwide.
Aligning Federal Low Income Housing Programs with Housing Need
NLIHC undertook the Alignment Project in order to gain a better understanding of how existing federal housing resources are being used and to learn how those existing resources might be better aligned with the need for housing among ELI households. A series of research reports and policy recommendations were produced from the Alignment Project.
The first product of this project is the report, Aligning Federal Low Income Housing Programs with Housing Need, released in December 2014. In this report NLIHC found that while the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program and other programs do serve extremely low income (ELI) households, those with incomes at or below 30% of area median income (AMI), they rarely do so without relying on housing vouchers. The report also features innovative strategies used by affordable housing developers to achieve deep affordability in their properties without relying on vouchers and includes five case studies of such properties. Learn More.
Memo to Members and Partners Articles
July 20, 2020
July 20, 2020
October 22, 2018