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May 16, 2024By H. Trost

If you aren’t affected by how expensive it is to exist inside four simple walls,  you are one of the lucky ones. 

Our economy is in crisis. One of its major issues is the lack of affordable housing. The housing gap is a significant issue that many communities face nationwide. 

What is a housing gap?

A housing gap happens when there aren't enough affordable housing options for low to moderate-income people who need them.

This shortage of affordable housing has far-reaching consequences, including homelessness, housing insecurity, strains on mental health, and increasing financial burdens.

MANY factors contribute to this gap:

  • Rising Housing Costs 

  • Income Inequality

  • Limited Housing Stock

  • Lack of Government Investment

  • Regulations

  • Population Growth


People are struggling to survive, much less thrive. The average monthly rent payment as of Feb 2024 is almost $2,000; the median home price in the United States for the 4th quarter of 2023 was $417,700.  

The National Low Income Housing Coalition states:

“Only 34 affordable and available rental homes exist for every 100 extremely low-income renter households. Extremely low-income renters face a shortage in every state and major metropolitan area.” 

Even families with multiple sources of income have voiced their concerns about struggling to make ends meet. The reality is most single-family households are now dual income. Sadly, in the average American household, both parents must work—not out of choice but out of necessity—and even then, some families struggle to pay the bills. 

Imagine feeling like you can’t provide for yourself or your family even when working full-time or sometimes multiple jobs. 

Here is my plea:

 I cannot help but feel the weight of the significance of the affordable housing gap on both a personal and professional level. This crisis goes far beyond mere statistics and policy discussions; it affects individuals and families in the deepest of ways. 

It is a crisis of dignity, stability, and basic human rights.

If you don’t understand the anxiety of living paycheck to paycheck, imagine, if you will, how you would feel every time the rent is due, or the mortgage statement arrives and you have to check your account. Or your check is a few days late, but your mortgage or rent payment is due today. 

Imagine choosing between a real meal and paying your electric bill. The constant juggling of bills, sacrificing necessities, and the fear of eviction or foreclosure lurking in the shadows for millions of people in the United States. For many, this is not a hypothetical scenario but a stark reality.

Owning a home, once a cornerstone of the American Dream, has become an elusive aspiration for far too many. Skyrocketing property prices coupled with stagnant wages have created a near-impossible barrier for countless individuals and families looking for a safe, warm place that is their own to rest their heads at night. Moreover, the shortage of affordable rental units has reached an alarming level, leaving low-income individuals and families with limited options and minimal rights.

The dream of owning a home, which was once associated with stability and success, now seems unattainable for those caught in the cycle of unaffordability. 

The fear of homelessness lingers, casting a shadow over those who are one missed paycheck away from losing the place they call home. 

It is crucial to recognize that the affordable housing crisis is not just an economic issue but a matter of civic rights. Access to safe, affordable housing is a fundamental human right that is integral to the health and well-being of individuals and communities. 

Stable housing is essential for thriving, pursuing goals, and contributing to society. Everyone deserves a safe and secure place to live. And it benefits civilization as a whole when its people are cared for.  

As we confront this crisis, we must do so with empathy and compassion, recognizing the humanity of those affected. Behind every statistic lies a story of struggle, resilience, and hope. It is our responsibility to listen to those affected, strengthen their voices, and take action to address the root causes of this crisis.

How do we solve the affordable housing crisis? We need a multifaceted approach to address affordable housing, including short-term relief measures and long-term structural reforms. We can't continue down the same beaten path that has left millions struggling to find affordable homes.

The most important thing I want to leave you with is my gratitude to you, the reader, for taking the time to read my plea. It's important for us to empathize with those struggling with housing affordability and take action to find a solution. It's a shared experience that unites us as a community. We hope to make affordable housing a reality for all by standing together.

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