TAC Report: SSI Recipients Cannot Afford Housing Anywhere in the US

New TAC study reveals that people with disabilities receiving Supplemental Security Income cannot afford housing anywhere in the U.S.  


The Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC) and the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) Housing Task Force have released a study, Priced Out in 2012, which demonstrates that the national average rent for a modestly priced one-bedroom apartment is greater than the entire Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment of a person with a disability. The study sheds light on the serious problems experienced by our nation's most vulnerable citizens - extremely low-income people with significant and long-term disabilities.

Priced Out in 2012
compares the monthly SSI payments received by more than 4.8 million non-elderly Americans with disabilities to the Fair Market Rents for modest efficiency and one-bedroom apartments in housing markets across the country. The Fair Market Rent for rental housing is determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  According to HUD, rent is affordable when it is no more than 30 percent of income. SSI is the federal income maintenance program that assists people with significant and long term disabilities who have virtually no assets and - in most instances - no other source of income. Priced Out in 2012 reveals that as a national average, people with disabilities receiving SSI needed to pay 104 percent of their income to rent a one-bedroom unit priced at the Fair Market Rent.

"Nowhere in the United States can people with disabilities receiving SSI afford a safe, decent place to live," stated Kevin Martone, Executive Director for TAC. "Yet taxpayer resources are spent exponentially on the costs associated with institutionalization and homelessness when more cost effective, proven solutions exist. I encourage our policy makers to consider the magnitude of this crisis and work in a bipartisan fashion to address this form of discrimination against our most vulnerable citizens."

The study, which was funded by the Melville Charitable Trust, notes that the reform and expansion of HUD's Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities program and appropriations for the National Housing Trust Fund could help to create more integrated housing linked with community-based services and supports. TAC and CCD urge Congress to provide sufficient funding over the next five years to expand HUD's innovative Section 811 PRA approach and to expand affordable housing opportunities for SSI recipients.

To obtain a copy of the study and any additional information, please visit TAC's website or call 617-266-5657 x110.