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According to a new report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Texas is now in the top six states with the least amount of available rental housing for low-income families.

Across Texas, there is a shortage of 614,487 rental homes affordable and available to extremely low-income households (ELI), whose incomes are at or below the poverty guideline or 30% of their area median income (AMI). There are 29 affordable and available rental homes per 100 extremely low-income renter households.

With almost a quarter of all Texas renters being extremely low-income, the study found that 74 percent of these households are severely cost-burdened. Severely cost-burdened poor households are more likely than other renters to sacrifice other necessities like healthy food and healthcare to pay the rent and to experience unstable housing situations like evictions.

Several significant factors impact affordability, including costs and trends related to land, laws, labor, lumber, and lending. City and state leaders should consider policy changes to allow for more developer incentives, inclusionary zoning, and higher-density housing. With a vast influx of people moving to Texas, the state needs to reconsider the types of housing they put on the ground. Texas’ traditional single-family low-density housing model will not provide the necessary affordable housing supply to meet the growing population. Especially in the larger cities and rapidly growing areas such as Austin. Lawmakers need to invest more resources into addressing Texas’ affordable housing crisis. Without intervention, the number of cost-burdened renters will continue to increase at alarming rates, threatening our state’s economic and social vitality.

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