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Affordable Housing , Homelessness , Housing Policy Briefs , Reports and Publications

New Zillow Report Explores the Intersection of Housing Affordability and Homelessness

3 January 2019

A new report by Zillow, Homelessness Rises More Quickly Where Rent Exceeds a Third of Income, explores the increased prevalence of individuals experiencing homelessness in communities with high housing cost burdens.

Zillow analyzed homelessness rates as they intersected with rent affordability, or the share of a household’s income spent on rent. The researchers noted two important thresholds. First, at 22 percent rent affordability, in which communities with higher than 22 percent rent affordability are more likely to have increased numbers of individuals experiencing homelessness. The second threshold was at 32 percent rent affordability, the point at which homelessness rates increase more rapidly.

The researchers suggest these percentage points are cogent benchmarks for focusing housing resources, advocacy, and programs.

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