The competition for affordable rental housing resulting from the recession, itself partly a product of the roughly 4.4 million people who lost their homes to foreclosure, has led to a shortage of homes for the extremely low-income sector. Defined as those earning less than 30 percent of the median income in their communities, their numbers increased by 2.1 million in the years from 2007-2011 to 12.1 million. Meanwhile, the number of rental units affordable to them dropped in that same period from 6.9 million to 6.8 million, according to a report by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing studies. As wsj.com tells MHProNews, tighter government budgets are reducing the building of subsidized housing just as more people are falling into poverty. Additionally, the number of households spending over half of their income on housing hit 20.6 million in 2011, an increase of 14.6 percent since 2007, and 49 percent more than in the previous decade.
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