Housing and Homelessness
Federal disinvestment, soaring rental costs, and the ever-decreasing value of the minimum wage are among several factors contributing to the affordable housing crisis in this country. Despite the assurance of a “decent home and a suitable living environment for every American family” in the 1949 National Housing Act, it is becoming increasingly difficult for low and moderate-income Americans to secure affordable housing.
A wide range of federal programs are designed to provide housing assistance and assistance for those experiencing homelessness. A cross-section of programs administered by the U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Agriculture (USDA), Health and Human Services, and Labor (DOL) address many of America’s housing and homelessness needs. Other federal agencies – including the Economic Development and Small Business Administrations – are integral to providing the support and resources necessary to carry out housing and community development initiatives in our most distressed communities.
As rents have increased and the economy has produced fewer good paying jobs over the last few years, affordable housing has been harder and harder to find. In 2003, approximately 5.3 million households in the United States were paying at least half of their yearly earnings on housing. This leaves millions of Americans with very little money left to pay for food, clothing, health care, transportation, child care and many other essentials. These families are forced to make painful choices and tradeoffs with their spending, often leading to hunger, sickness, and homelessness.
The affordable housing crisis and homelessness problem in the U.S. is getting worse, not better, and more resources are needed to help those Americans who are struggling just to put a roof over their heads.
For more information on this issue, visit CHN’s Public Policy Priorities, 2013-2014.
For more information on Housing and Homelessness issues, visit the links below.
Introduction to the Section 8 Housing Voucher Program
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Homelessness Page
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Homelessness Page
Homeless Legislation and Policy
Facts About Homelessness
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Center for Economic and Policy Research
Housing Assistance Council
National Alliance to End Homelessness
National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials
National Center on Family Homelessness
National Coalition for the Homeless
National Fair Housing Alliance
National Health Care for the Homeless Council
National Housing Trust
National Housing Trust Fund Campaign
National Low Income Housing Coalition
National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty
Policy Analyses and Research
- February 14, 2013Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Estimated Cuts in Federal Housing Assistance and Community Development Programs Due to Sequestration, 2013
- January 17, 2013Center for American Progress: How the Debt Ceiling Fight Could Derail the Housing Recovery