HUD released the Executive Summary of its Worse Case Housing Needs: 2015 Report to Congress earlier this month. While the number of households with worst case needs* decreased to 7.7 million in 2013 (after a record high of 8.5 million in 2011), the count remains 49% higher than in 2003 and 9% higher than in 2009. The overwhelming majority of worst case needs are based on rent burden with inadequate housing causing only 3% of worst case needs. The summary suggests that the decrease since 2011 can be attributed to the on-going economic recovery but the numbers remain staggering. HUD will issue the final report in the spring. Until then, we better get back to work.
*”Worst case needs” are defined as renters with very low income (below 50% AMI) who do not receive government housing assistance and who pay more than one-half of their income for rent and/or live in severely inadequate conditions.