Indiana shows no progress in easing low-income housing shortage, report reveals

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Indiana has a pronounced shortage of housing affordable to low-income Hoosiers, and it hasn’t improved in the last year, according to a new report out Friday.

There are just 38 affordable units available to every 100 Indiana renters making 30% or less of the area media income, according to the report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition and Prosperity Indiana. Last year, that number was 37 units.

“This lack of affordable housing stock is putting increasing pressure on families struggling to pay their bills and move up the economic ladder,” said Prosperity Indiana Executive Director Jessica Love in a news release Friday.

The ratio translates to a shortage of 135,033 units for the state’s extremely low-income renters. And 72% of low-income renters spend more than half their incomes on rent each month, according to the report, the same as in 2021’s report.

The numbers are worse in the Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson area, which has a deficit of 51,550 units, according to the report—40% of the state’s total shortage.

That’s just 24 units available to every 100 families. About 79% of the area’s extremely low-income renters spend more than half their paychecks on rent.

Prosperity Indiana and the coalition called for greater action from policymakers.

“To relieve the pressures being caused by the state’s high housing costs and limited availability, Indiana policymakers must tackle this issue through both increased resources and better public policy,” Love said. “We need to see greater investment in the production of affordable housing for the Hoosiers who need it most, as well as stronger habitability standards and tenant protections to improve housing stability and affordability throughout the state.”

“The pandemic has made plain our nation’s lack of a housing safety net,” said coalition President and CEO Diane Yentel. “It is time to invest in long-term housing policies that will finally address the systemic shortage of affordable housing and provide housing stability for the lowest-income families.”

Prosperity Indiana is a not-for-profit that advocates for economic development and inclusion, focusing on housing, consumer protection and other priorities.

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4 thoughts on “Indiana shows no progress in easing low-income housing shortage, report reveals

  1. Right now it’s not profitable to build affordable housing. That’s the harsh truth. Until we get our supply chains shorted out, end this stupid war in Ukraine, and curb inflation (hurts in the mean time) it’s going to continue.

    1. These are true but we’ve also done a really poor job at building out low-income housing in general, and most of our housing programs are now just temporary tax credits or vouchers. Unlike our global peers, we’ve effectively stopped building public housing that would introduce subsidized competition in a hot market.

  2. You build it and they will come. Government spending and inflation is keep low income housing scarce. The United States has thrown 30 trillion at poverty and we have only exacerbated the problem.

    1. Steve, yep. Unfortunately most of that money never reaches the people in need, Or it’s spent infectively.