The availability of stable and affordable housing in quality neighborhoods can provide households the opportunity for economic mobility and resilience and be a competitive advantage for communities seeking to attract and retain employers. However, low- and moderate-income renters are limited in the rents they can afford and, therefore, the housing choices they have. This tool provides estimates of the location and share of renter households that pay unaffordable rent across the Southeast. It can also be used to understand market-level gaps in available rental housing stock at various income levels and geographies.
The tool displays the state of rental affordability and availability in the Southeast using 2015 through 2021 American Community Survey (ACS) one-year Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) data from the US Census Bureau. Users can visualize data at the state, region, or city level. (See the “Data Definitions and Sources” section for information on the methodology and regional definitions.) This tool demonstrates the abundance of renter households that are cost-burdened or severely cost-burdened—paying more than 30 percent or 50 percent, respectively, of their income on housing—and shows the pressing need for additional affordable rental units throughout the Southeast. The lack of affordable rental housing is generally due to rising rents that outpace income growth, a higher demand for rentals, and the loss of low-cost rental housing units.
Communities looking to increase their supply of affordable housing and achieve a better balance of housing options at all rent levels can use this tracker to help define housing affordability challenges by exploring the availability of affordable rentals and presence of cost-burdened renter households in their area.
This tool is an update of an earlier data analysis performed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and the Shimberg Center for Housing Studies at the University of Florida.
This tool does not include 2020 ACS data due to COVID-19 related disruptions in collecting census data. A low response rate in 2020 required using weights that are not consistent with or comparable to data from other years. Thus, the Census Bureau does not recommend users compare the 2020 “experimental” estimates with standard estimates from other years. More information about the disruption in data collection and resulting 2020 ACS one-year experimental data is available from the US Census Bureau.