WASHINGTON, D.C. – November 12, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — According to Housing Instability Among Our Nation’s Veterans, a report released today by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, 1.5 million veteran households suffered from severe housing cost burden in 2011, spending more than 50% of their income on housing. There were also significant disparities among veteran households, with veteran households headed by a racial minority, females, and those with a disability more likely to be cost burdened than their counterparts.
NLIHC’s report provides a deeper understanding of the housing needs of veterans by examining several characteristics, including household income, race/ethnicity, family type, service-related disabilities, and period of military service. According to the report, seven in ten veteran households with income at or below 30% of the area median were severely cost burdened nationwide in 2011. However, nearly nine in ten households of that income level headed by a veteran who served after 9/11 were severely cost burdened.
Other types of veteran households also faced greater housing instability. More than half of black veteran households with incomes between 50% and 80% of the area median were housing cost burdened, compared to 36% of white and 48% of Hispanic veteran households in the same income category. Further, 82% of family households headed by a single female with incomes between 30% and 50% of the area median were cost burdened, compared to 59% of married couple veteran households in that income category.
NLIHC also found that the veteran population is changing, with increasing numbers of racial minorities, females, and veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan. These groups are also more likely to rent than own, suggesting that housing policies targeted toward veterans must strike a better balance between promoting home ownership and offering rental assistance.
The report finds that veterans with low incomes suffer from the shortage of affordable, decent housing just as low income non-veterans do. If the nation is to prevent homelessness among our veterans, the federal government must make a much greater investment in permanent, affordable housing. Funding the National Housing Trust Fund is the best solution to both ending and preventing veteran homelessness.
Data used for the analysis was drawn from 2011 Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) population and housing files of the American Community Survey.
View Housing Instability Among Our Nation’s Veterans at: www.nlihc.org/veterans
Sarah Brundage Communications Director (202) 662 1530 x246