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Housing Affordability

Affordable housing is generally defined as housing for which the occupant is paying no more than 30 percent of gross income, including utilities. Poverty and income discrepancies are major contributing factors to housing affordability in the Lowcountry. For households and families lower on the income spectrum, housing expenses will comprise a significant portion of total income, leaving little left over for other household expenses and savings. As seen in the first dashboard, a majority of owners spent up to or less than 20% of their income on housing for all counties. On the other hand, a majority of renters spent 30% or more of their income on rental properties. The second and third dashboard also offers a list of available properties in the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program (LIHTC) and the affordability of the Fair Market Rent (FMR) respectively.

Data Notes
Definition Affordable Housing:  Housing for which the occupant is paying no more than 30 percent of gross income for housing costs, including utilities.

Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC):  Created by the Tax Reform Act of 1986, the LIHTC provides a tax incentive to construct or rehabilitate affordable rental housing for low-income households by subsidizing the acquisition, construction, and rehabilitation of affordable rental housing for low- and moderate-income tenants.

Fair Market Rent (FMR):  The FMR is developed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to determine payments for housing assistance programs like the Section 8 housing choice voucher program.

No Cash Rent:  The unit may be owned by friends or relatives who live elsewhere and who allow occupancy without charge. Rent-free houses or apartments may be provided to compensate caretakers, ministers, tenant farmers, sharecroppers, or others.
Data Source U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates; U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Database; and National Low Income Housing Coalition, Out of Reach
Last Updated May 2024