Older Americans Increasingly Burdened by Housing Costs

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As the housing industry continues to deal with an affordability crisis, a new report shows that nearly one-third of households age 65 or older – 9.7 million – pay at least 30% of their income for housing, and more than half of these pay over 50%. The report, Housing America’s Older Adults 2018, released recently by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, found that more than half of U.S. households are now headed by someone age 50 or older. It cautions that older generations will increasingly need more accessible and supportive housing than is currently available. This is consistent with NAHB analysis of data from the Census Bureau's 2017 American Community Survey that found nearly one-third of America’s 119 million households are cost burdened and pay more than 30% of their incomes for housing. That number includes almost half of the nation’s renter households and a quarter of the owner households. As NAHBNow previously reported, addressing housing affordability concerns will be a top issue for NAHB in 2019, and we will be working with Congress and the administration to achieve this goal. Federal policymakers can address affordability concerns by taking appropriate steps to ease needless regulatory burdens that will help stabilize residential market conditions. Lawmakers also can enact policies to encourage the production of much-needed affordable housing units.

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