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Addressing the Rental Housing Crisis

We talk a lot about Community Home Trust as stewards of homeownership opportunities, but did you know that we also own low-income rental housing and are preparing to invest in more? We know that this is the best way for us to help ensure housing affordability for lower income community members, an issue that is increasingly prominent in headlines recently.

Every year since 1989, the National Low Income Housing Coalition has released its report, “Out of Reach,” documenting the gap between workers’ wages and the cost of rental housing in this country. While the details of the report each year change, the title doesn’t because the conclusion doesn’t either: affordable rental housing is out of reach for millions of low-wage workers in the United States. This year’s report, of course, documents the complications COVID-19 has added to the deepening crisis of rental housing affordability in this country.

“COVID-19 was an economic catastrophe for many households, disproportionately people of color, precisely because so many already could not afford their homes,” says the report.

The gap is huge: the average minimum wage worker needs to work 79 hours per week to afford a decent one-bedroom rental home at the fair market rent — and 97 hours per week for a two-bedroom! And with COVID-19-related loss of work and other economic hardships, workers who already couldn’t afford rent have been pushed even deeper in the hole.

The report’s conclusion is clear: “Addressing the long-term housing affordability crisis in this country requires increasing rental assistance to all who need it, as well as expanding and preserving the affordable housing stock.”  

The report details the many reasons it is so important that Community Home Trust is working to address this rental crisis right here at home. Our 58 units at The Landings at Winmore are permanently affordable for those earning 30 – 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI), and we’re working on plans to build more affordable apartments in the near future. As plans progress, we’ll continue sharing opportunities for you as members of the Community Home Trust family to help us continue to grow and welcome more people into our community.

If you want to use your voice to help us increase affordable rental housing opportunities, please subscribe to our advocacy email list, where we share opportunities as they arise. Just send an email to dberman@communityhometrust.org with the subject line “subscribe to advocacy alerts” or click the button below.