THE AFFORDABILITY CRISIS

problem-picHomelessness, substandard housing and the lack of affordable options are part of a national crisis that destroys lives, wrenches families apart and degrades communities. Every day more people live on the edge and solutions often are elusive.

Houston has experienced some of the highest housing cost increases in the nation. According to the latest report by The Kinder Institute for Urban Research, over the last 10 years, housing costs have risen most quickly for Houston’s lowest-earning workers. In the past year, of those citizens surveyed:

· 35% struggled to pay for housing

· 40% were unable to pay $400 in case of an emergency

· 25% had no health insurance

· 33% had difficulty paying for food

The widespread prevalence of poverty and homelessness in this affluent metropolitan area, and its surrounding counties, is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore. High housing costs leave low-income persons with little money for other important expenses, such as healthcare, food, and education, leading to difficult budget trade-offs.

Affordable supportive housing is a platform for driving change and improving quality of life. As an intervention and prevention platform, it anchors a community and provides a launch pad for delivering a variety of health and social services.

THE FACTS OF HOMELESSNESS IN HOUSTON

Although Houston is our nation’s fourth largest city, we are behind in meeting the need for affordable housing. Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) has been in particularly short supply. PSH is defined as multifamily apartment housing, both with rental subsidies and vital support services.

In response to this need, former Mayor Annise Parker committed to end chronic ‘street’ and veteran homelessness by 2016, including access to 2,500 units of PSH for individuals and families. The City names New Hope Housing as one of the affordable housing developers leading this effort. Mayor Sylvester Turner has pledged his support to continue this great effort – one that has become a nationally recognized model for successfully preventing and ending homelessness.

IN HOUSTON ARE HOMELESS

THE CITY SPENDS MORE THAN

each year on police calls, emergency hospital care, mental health services and more to reach the issues of chronic ‘street’ homelessness

If homeless persons are housed, the city could save up to