Housing Issues

# Along with food & clothing, shelter–housing–is one of humankind’s three basic needs.

# In America, there are approximately 12 million households contending for approximately 4 million affordable, available rental units.*

# The situation is especially severe in Arizona, which is the 2nd-worst state in the nation regarding affordable, available housing for extremely-low-income households: for every 100 such households, there are only 20 affordable, available rental units.**

# Arizona is also 2nd-to-last in the percentage of extremely-low-income households with severe housing-cost burdens: 83% of such households spend more than half of their monthly incomes on housing and utilities.*

# To lesser but substantial degrees, these conditions also affect low-income and moderate-income households in America–and especially in Arizona.

# In 2012, the median household income for the Tucson metro area was $3,064 lower than the Arizona median household income and $6,609 lower than the U.S. median household income.***

* THE WEEK, 8/5/14.

** Report, National Low Income Housing Coalition, 3/14/12; Tucson.com.business, 8/5/14.

*** U.S. Census ACS 1-Year Survey

AFFORDABLE HOUSING: EVERYONE BENEFITS*

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# Businesses benefit from their workers’ ability to live near their workplaces and reach them on time.

# Neighborhoods benefit when workers don’t have to drive long distances to work, increase traffic congestion, and spend less time with their families.

# Schools benefit when children don’t have to change schools because of housing issues.

# The environment benefits, because affordable housing is required to be energy-efficient, which also lowers households’ utility rates.

# Families benefit when relatives can live closer to each other and provide mutual support, socialize, and assist with access to medical care and other necessities.

# The local economy benefits from affordable-housing households’ being able to spend money on basic necessities and services.

# Children benefit by living in stable, established homes, attending their neighborhood schools long-term, and having fewer nutrition and health issues.

# The health-care system benefits: members of stable, rooted households are more able to remain healthy and thereby place fewer demands on the health-care system, which means that…..

# Taxpayers benefit, because they absorb fewer uncompensated-for costs of emergency-room visits, crisis care, and hospitalizations.

* “Affordable Housing Myths,” Tucson Affordable Housing, 8/5/14