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Arizona’s affordable housing shortage near the worst in the U.S.

Posted at 5:56 PM, Mar 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-18 20:56:58-04

PHOENIX — Arizona has the fourth worst affordable housing shortage in the country for households with extremely low incomes, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s (NLIHC) Gap report, released on Thursday.

The report concluded that Arizona has 26 affordable and available rental units for every 100 extremely low-income households. Only Nevada, California, and Oregon are worse, according to the report.

Among the cities, Phoenix was ranked as having the fourth most severe shortage in the country with 21 available and affordable units for every 100 households. Las Vegas, Houston and Los Angeles were the bottom three, respectively.

Extremely low-income (ELI) households are the lowest earners in the country and are defined by U.S. Housing and Urban Development as bringing in 30% or less of the Area Median Income. That amount comes to $21,720 for a family of 3 in Maricopa County.

Nationally, 36% of ELI households have low wage jobs working more than 20 hours, “but low-wage employment did not provide them adequate income to afford housing,” according to the report. Another 30% are senior citizens, and 18% percent are housing someone with a disability.