HUD recently released Worst Case Housing Needs 2009: A Report to Congress.
· There has been a disturbing overall upward trend in worst case housing needs, with an almost 42% increase since 2001; more than 6% of all households are now facing such needs.
· Dramatic increases in worst case needs were caused by shrinking incomes, as well as rent increases due to increased competition among low-income families for fewer affordable units.
· Worst case needs affects all demographic groups and household types. Every racial/ethnic group experienced increases in worst case needs during 2007–2009, with Hispanic households having the largest increase in incidence (8 percentage points).
· Higher-income families are competing for a limited number of affordable rental units, further driving down already low vacancy rates for the lowest-rent units. Only 36 of every 100 extremely low-income renters have affordable units available to them.
· The share of worst case needs among very low-income renters with disabilities increased from 37.5% to 40.7% between 2007 and 2009.
· The availability of affordable rental housing varies across regions of the country. The supply is most scarce in the West, where only 53 units are available per 100 very low-income renter households, compared with 65 in the South, 66 in the Northeast, and 87 in the Midwest.