The Affordable Housing Crisis

According to findings published by Princeton’s Eviction Lab, in 2016 there were nearly a million evictions nationally. That amounts to 2.3 million people, 6,300 people a day that  were evicted, many of them children.

To put those numbers into perspective, the number of people evicted was twice the number of people who died in car accidents that year, and there were 36 evictions for every tragic opioid overdose victim. This should make it clear that eviction has become a national epidemic. The cause of this epidemic is the affordable housing crisis.

Statistics from the National Low Income Housing Coalition reveal that the U.S. has a shortage of 7.2 million affordable rental homes available to extremely low income renters (income at or below the poverty guideline or 30% of their area median income).

Nationally, there are only 35 affordable and available rental homes for every 100 households with extremely low income. There is an affordable housing shortage in every state and major metropolitan area, including the District of Columbia.

From 2008 through 2009 Princeton sociologist Matthew Desmond followed eight low-income families in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and wrote a book about their experiences of poverty, eviction and homelessness.

Listen to a podcast review of 2017 Pulitzer Prize winning author Matthew Desmond’s book titled Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.

If you are facing eviction and are seeking assistance with back rent or homeless shelter, contact 211.


Written by 

New Jersey lawyer turned blogger, podcaster and legal changemaker.