Other Free Encyclopedias » Medicine Encyclopedia » Aging Healthy - Part 2 » Housing: Alternative Options - Aging In One's Own Home, Renting, Shared Housing, Mobile Homes, Elder Cottage Housing Opportunities

Housing: Alternative Options - Renting

age percent renters households excessive

In 1995 the Public Policy Institute reported that only 1.9 million vacant rental units had rent low enough to be affordable for the 5.1 million poor renters. The federal government defines expenditures for housing that exceed 30 percent of income as excessive; 71 percent of poor households experience excessive housing cost burdens. (Poor households includes owners and renters.) About 40 percent of the older poor households spend half or more of their income on housing. The incidence of excessive housing cost is particularly high among those age seventy-five and above and among older women living alone. Renters are particularly affected by excessive housing costs: 77 percent of older renters spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing.

Because older renters have few opportunities to raise their incomes through employment and because poverty in old age is more likely to be permanent, it appears that there will be a continued need for housing assistance. In 1999 almost one million older renters with worst-case needs did not receive any housing assistance. Worst-case households are those whose incomes are below 50 percent of the area median and who pay more than 50 percent of their income for rent, or who occupy substandard housing, or are displaced involuntarily. The incidence of worst case housing is highest among the oldest and youngest renter households, and they must wait for several years for housing assistance.

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