AFFORDABLE HOUSING OUT OF REACH FOR AVERAGE RENTERS IN 82 OF 92 INDIANA COUNTIES, IN ALL 92 FOR LOW-INCOME RENTERS
The cost of remaining stably housed continues to rise for average Hoosier renters in most Indiana counties and is out of reach for low-wage workers in every county of the state, according to a national report released today. The report, Out of Reach: The High Cost of Housing, is jointly released by Prosperity Indiana, a statewide community development network, and the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), a research and advocacy organization dedicated solely to achieving affordable and decent homes for the lowest income people.
In order to afford a modest, two-bedroom apartment at fair market rent in Indiana, renters need to earn $16.03 per hour. That figure is up from $15.56 in 2018, further exacerbating gaps in housing affordability in communities across the state. Working at the minimum wage of $7.25 in Indiana, a worker must have 1.8 full-time jobs or work 71 hours per week to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment; or have 2.2 full-time jobs or work 88 hours per week to afford a two-bedroom apartment.
“Data shows that the typical renter income is insufficient to afford rental housing in 82 of Indiana’s 92 counties,” said Jessica Love, Prosperity Indiana’s Executive Director. “For Hoosiers working full-time at minimum wage, there is a monthly deficit of over $450 to afford the state average fair market rate for a modest two-bedroom unit.” Noting that conservative figures show 31,767 renter households statewide are evicted each year, Love believes there is ”an urgent need for action in implementing common-sense solutions at the federal and state level to address our affordable housing crisis.”
Indiana has a 134,485-unit deficit of affordable, available rental housing for the 27 percent of Indiana renters who earn 30 percent of Area Median Income, a maximum of $24,600 per year for a family of four. The Out of Reach report also highlights, for example, that rent that would be considered affordable for this income threshold is $527, well below the fair market rents for both one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments in Indiana.
Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.), who has introduced legislation aimed at addressing barriers to safe, stable housing, said, “I’ve seen firsthand in Indiana how a lack of affordable housing has negative and lasting consequences. The inability to access safe and affordable homes leaves Hoosier families with fewer dollars to spend on important expenses like health care and groceries. As part of my Fair Shot Agenda, I’ve made solving this crisis a top priority.”
Young added that one such bill, S. 1772, is a bipartisan measure that “would assemble a group of experts to better understand the housing affordability crisis, so that we can take legislative action and end the cycle of poverty for millions of struggling Americans.”
Rental housing needs have worsened considerably over the past 30 years since Out of Reachwas first released, but the time is right to reverse that trend according to Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
Yentel said, “Housing is out of reach for millions of low-wage workers. But members of Congress are starting to take note. Big, robust housing bills have been introduced by key policymakers. The topic of affordable housing is becoming increasingly prevalent on the 2020 presidential campaign trails. We now have a tremendous opportunity to implement bold federal housing policy solutions that will fund affordable housing programs at the scale necessary.”
For additional details, a copy of the Out of Reach 2019 report is available at: https://reports.nlihc.org/oor/indiana