National and State Housing Data Fact Sheets

The fact sheets include detailed state and national data on households participating in federal rental assistance programs, as well as unmet needs for housing assistance.

To access the state-by-state guides, click here.

Below is a summary of CBPP's findings:

Federal Rental Assistance

  • About 35 percent of all U.S. households – or 41 million households – are renters.
  • Federal rental assistance programs enable more than 4.9 million low-income households in U.S. to rent modest housing at an affordable cost. About 56 percent of these households are headed by people who are elderly or have disabilities; approximately 34 percent are families with children that are headed by people younger than 62 and do not have disabilities. Nationally, 14 percent of HUD­-assisted units, and a large share of USDA-assisted units, are located outside of metropolitan areas.
  • Federal rental assistance programs reach only a small share of the low-income U.S. households that pay unaffordable rental housing costs.
  • In the United States, 10,250,500 low-income renter households pay more than half their monthly cash income for housing costs. The median income of these households is $1,150 and the median housing costs are $1,010, leaving only $140 to pay for other necessities. About 37 percent of these severely cost-burdened renter households are headed by people who are elderly or have disabilities, while 31 percent are other families with children.
  • When housing costs consume more than half of household income, low-income families are at greater risk of becoming homeless. Point-in-time surveys suggest that at least 636,000 people are homeless in the U.S.

Voucher Utilization Data, 2004 – 2010

  • 2,083,187 families in the United States used Housing Choice Vouchers last year.
  • Only 91% of the National authorized vouchers were in use in 2010, a lower percentage than in 2004. This decline represents the loss of assistance for 113,181 low-income families at a time when 9,354,142 low-income renter households in the United States had severe housing cost burdens. 
  • Housing agencies in United States have sufficient voucher funds in 2011 to serve up to 95,772 more families than they did in 2010. While it is prudent for agencies to hold some of these funds in reserve, Congress could enable and encourage agencies to use more of these funds to assist additional families by enacting the important funding policy improvements contained in the Section 8 Voucher Reform Act (SEVRA).
  • Methodology is the explanatory guide to using these data as well as an overview of the recent history of voucher renewal funding policies.
View CBPP’s state-by-state guide on rental assistance data