Newly updated database documents increase in state and local investments to help renters afford stable housing and prevent homelessness.
Washington, D.C. – The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) with the support of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) released today an updated Rental Housing Programs Database (RHPD), as well as a report summarizing findings from the database. NLIHC’s RHPD is a publicly available collection of information on state and locally funded programs that create, preserve, or increase access to affordable rental housing. The database helps advocates, state and local agencies, policymakers, and other interested parties understand how state and local governments use their own financial resources to close the gap between available federal funding for rental housing and the unmet needs of renters in their communities.
“The U.S. is short 7.3 million rental homes affordable and available to extremely low-income renters, leaving many to face severe housing instability,” said NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel. “The federal government provides important support, but not enough: only one in four eligible renter households receives long-term federal housing assistance due to limited funding. Instead, many low-income renters must rely on other sources of support to secure affordable housing, especially those provided by states and localities. The Rental Housing Programs Database is one of the only available resources offering comprehensive and reliable information about the extraordinarily diverse array of rental housing programs operating at the state and local levels.”
“Even though renters’ incomes have recently increased, rent costs have also gone up, so too many families still face a gap between their housing costs and what they can afford,” said CBPP Vice President for Housing and Income Security Peggy Bailey. “States and local governments are increasingly investing in helping renters afford stable housing and preventing homelessness. The programs illustrated in the new report and updated database serve as models for the role state and local resources can play in meeting this need, especially given the reality that current federal resources fall far short of reaching all households who need support.”
When NLIHC first released it in 2014, the RHPD compiled data about state and local programs providing rental assistance to extremely low-income renters and capital resources for the development and operation of affordable housing. The updates to the RHPD present the latest data on state- and locally funded rental housing programs that provide tenant-based rental assistance, project-based rental assistance, capital resources, a combination of rental assistance and capital resources, or tenant tax relief. Detailed information on the scope, objectives, eligibility requirements, priority populations, and other characteristics of programs were collected through surveys completed by program administrators and detailed research by NLIHC staff.
The database now also includes programs funded in whole or in part by the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program, a federal initiative that provided states and localities with funds to respond to pandemic-era disruptions. In addition, the newly updated RHPD captures interesting changes in the landscape of rental housing programs, such as the growth of eviction diversion/prevention programs and the increasing reliance of state and local governments on their own housing trust fund programs as flexible and relatively stable sources of funding.
The database allows users to search for programs by state, program type (e.g., tenant-based rental assistance or project-based rental assistance), or eligibility criteria and provides an interactive map displaying important information about programs. The new database also gives detailed information about each of the programs, including documentation required for applying, the purposes for which assistance can be used, and how funds are disbursed.
NLIHC’s accompanying report, State and Local Investments in Rental Housing: A Summary of Findings from the 2023 Rental Housing Programs Database, summarizes the characteristics of rental housing programs included in the 2023 RHPD. As of August 2023, NLIHC had identified a total of 353 active rental housing programs – including 277 state-funded programs and 76 locally funded programs – across 48 states, the District of Columbia, and 42 cities. Over half of these programs (55.2%) provide capital resources to developers or other entities for the construction, acquisition, rehabilitation, or preservation of affordable rental housing properties; roughly a fourth (26.9%) provide tenant-based rental assistance to cover the difference between total housing costs up to a specified payment standard and what a tenant can afford to pay.
Learn more about the Rental Housing Programs Database and rental housing programs in your community at: https://bit.ly/3S46H5Z
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