Due to discriminatory housing practices and the inadequate supply of affordable housing, coupled with wage stagnation as rents have risen, a housing crisis in America’s cities was inevitable. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated America’s housing problem. Now cities are having to stretch their dollars to fund emergency shelters, provide mortgage and rental assistance, and implement eviction diversion programs for individuals and families facing unemployment, eviction and/or homelessness.
In this policy brief, we aim to quantify the housing finance gap that cities are potentially facing. Our analysis finds that for every $100 that state and federal governments invest per person, cities have $3 in additional housing spending needs per person. This means that cities have more than $14 billion in additional needs for housing cumulatively, just to get them back to historical levels of housing spending.
Current levels of state and federal aid are not sufficient for cities and their residents. Cities are in critical need of fiscal support to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, provide relief to residents, and keep their communities thriving.