A Quick Definition

“An estimated 12 million renter and homeowner households now pay more then 50 percent of their annual incomes for housing, and a family with one full-time worker earning the minimum wage cannot afford the local fair-market rent for a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the United States.”  – NLIHC

The generally accepted definition of affordability is for a household to pay no more than 30 percent of its annual income on housing. Families who pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing are considered cost burdened and may have difficulty affording necessities such as food, clothing, transportation and medical care. Public agencies define affordable housing as units with rent restrictions or price restrictions to maintain affordability as defined by HUD for the longest feasible time. The nation-wide lack of affordable housing is a significant hardship for low-income households preventing them from meeting their other basic needs.

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