Many believe housing is “affordable” when the cost makes up no more than 30 percent of a person’s income. Unfortunately, a recent report discovered that the cost of rent for a one-bedroom apartment is, on average, 104 percent higher than government benefits offered to people with disabilities; indicating that affordable housing is out of reach for many. This report comes from an analysis released by the Technical Assistance Collaborative and the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities.
The organizations assessed the value of Social Security Income with federal government data from 2012 on fair market rents for studio and one-bedroom apartments in cities across the United States. They discovered that even studio apartments were often too high for individuals with disabilities as the cost was around 90 percent of their monthly income. While the costs varied by city, the report found that rents for even the smallest apartments accounted for at least 60 percent of the benefits received from the government in every state.
According to Kevin Martone, executive director of the Technical Assistance Collaborative, “Nowhere in the United States can people with disabilities receiving SSI afford a safe, decent place to live. Yet taxpayer resources are spent exponentially on the costs associated with the institutionalization and homelessness when more cost-effective, proven solutions exist”.
Housing continues to become more and more unaffordable for people with disabilities. According to Priced Out, a bi-annual report produced each year since 1998, average rental prices have grown from 69 percent of SSI benefits in 1998 to 104 percent. As a result, the report estimates that as many as two million people with disabilities are living dependently with their parents, in homeless shelters, crowded boarding houses or institutions, and nursing homes.
Scioto understands the many issues people with disabilities face in finding affordable housing. We are committed to helping people with disabilities find affordable disability housing in the community they choose to live.