|On March 25, HUD released the second annual report on households residing in Housing Credit units, providing demographic and economic data submitted by Housing Credit allocating agencies. The report provides information about the race, ethnicity, family composition, age, income, use of rental assistance, disability status, and monthly rent burden of tenants living in Housing Credit properties as of the end of 2013.
Congress mandated the collection and publication of this data when it passed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008. While Congress authorized funding for this initiative as part of HERA, it never appropriated those funds; therefore the states and HUD have been forced to rely on existing resources to meet the law’s requirements.
Despite resource constraints, with the exception of two city-level agencies that allocate a portion of their state’s Credits, all other agencies administering the Housing Credit submitted data to HUD for this report, including a few agencies who were unable to provide data the previous year. However, many states were unable to submit complete information for all active properties due to a variety of factors, including the inability to convert or hand-enter information originally collected in hard copy into reporting systems in the time required, lack of annual income recertifications of tenants in 100 percent low-income properties as allowed by law, and limited information on the tenants in some properties in their extended use periods. Still, states were able to provide information on households in 60 percent of Housing Credit properties.
The median income of Housing Credit tenants was $17,000. Approximately 48 percent of tenant households were extremely low-income, earning 30 percent or less of area median income (AMI), and 34 percent of households were very low-income, earning between 30 and 50 percent of AMI. More than half of Housing Credit tenants—55.6 percent—paid 30 percent or less of their income towards rent; 19.7 percent paid more than 30 percent, but less than 40 percent, of their income for rent; and 9 percent paid more than 40 percent, but less than 50 percent, of their income for rent. Another 9.5 percent paid over 50 percent of their income for rent and 3.1 percent of households reported $0 in income. Approximately 36 percent of households reported receiving some form of rental assistance.
According to the report, 22.9 percent of Housing Credit tenants identified their race as white, another 22.7 percent identified as black, 2.1 percent identified as Asian, 9.5 percent identified as Hispanic, and less than 1 percent identified as either American Indian/Alaska Native or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander. Under fair housing laws, tenants are not compelled to report their race or ethnicity, leading to incomplete data on these demographic categories—40.6 percent of tenants did not report their race or ethnicity.