The Housing Crisis Is Worse Than You Think

A new report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition shows it’s getting increasingly difficult to afford housing.

In These Times Staff July 23, 2019

A tent is set up as a part of the Dignity Village homeless encampment in East Oakland, Calif., on Dec. 5, 2018. (Photo by Aric Crabb/Digital First Media/Bay Area News via Getty Images)

Hous­ing is a human right,” Julián Cas­tro, the for­mer Oba­ma Sec­re­tary of Hous­ing and Urban Devel­op­ment, wrote in the pre­am­ble to his Peo­ple First Hous­ing” plat­form in June. He’s one of a few Demo­c­ra­t­ic con­tenders who have spo­ken about afford­able hous­ing in recent weeks, an issue that’s his­tor­i­cal­ly received lim­it­ed atten­tion on the cam­paign trail. But housing’s new­found impor­tance makes good sense: As In These Times has not­ed, the eco­nom­ic prospects for every­day Amer­i­cans are hard­ly sun­ny, even after the puta­tive rebounds made by the nation since the Great Recession.

While there are ample rea­sons to doubt the pro­gres­sive promis­es made by the likes of Cas­tro, the need to address the short­age of afford­able hous­ing could not be more real. And with the recent release of the Nation­al Low Income Hous­ing Coalition’s annu­al report on the gap between wage-earn­ers and rent prices, now is an impor­tant moment for can­di­dates to out­line their plans to address the issue. Here are 10 sta­tis­tics that out­line the U.S. hous­ing crisis:

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