Our elected leaders on both sides of the political aisle are going to have a lot to say about President Obama’s proposed federal budget in the weeks and months ahead. But one area is likely to continue escaping attention in the wake of the proposal’s release: the availability of affordable rental housing.
The president’s budget request would increase funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development – the agency tasked with providing American housing options and assisting community development – by $4 billion, or 8.7 percent, above current levels. The casual observer might assume the lion’s share of this increase will go to helping more Americans buy their own homes. On the contrary, the majority of the hike will go to fund programs that help renters afford to put a roof over their head.
Regardless of which side of the budget debate you fall on, it’s hard to ignore the fact that America sits on the cusp of a rental affordability crisis. After a decades-long trend that favored homeownership, the share of renters has climbed from 31 percent in 2004 to about 35 percent today, driven in part by the recent recession, foreclosures and living patterns among younger adults.
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Source: The Hill | March 12, 2015