Report: Texas Efficiency Rent 90% of SSI Payments

“Priced Out,” a new report by the Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC) and the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) shows the severe housing affordability problems of people with disabilities.

According to the report, a person with a disability receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) would have to pay  90% of their monthly income to rent an average efficiency unit in Texas.

Within Texas’s federally defined housing market areas, the cost of a one-bedroom rental unit ranged from a low of 70% of SSI payments in the Atascosa County housing market area to a high of 117% in the Austin/Round Rock/San Marcos housing market area.

That’s right.  Someone living on SSI could not afford to live in Austin, even if they spent every penny of their SSI check on rent alone.

The lowest income category Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) tracks in the State Low-Income Housing Plan and targets in housing programs is 30% of Area Median Income.  SSI benefits are an average of only 20% of Median Income across the state.  This discrepancy means that even the low-income housing programs run by TDHCA are unaffordable to disabled Texans living on SSI.

This issue motivates our standing recommendation the state should create a program category for Texans earning between 0 and 110% of SSI.  Programs for such fixed income households must be structured differently than those designed for higher income households to prevent them from being Priced Out of the affordable housing programs in the sate.

Selected Texas data from the TAC/CCD report:

MSA / Area SSI Monthly Payment SSI as % of Median Income % SSI for 1 BR Apt. % SSI for Efficiency Apt. SSI As Hourly Wage NLIHC Housing Wage
Austin/Round Rock/San Marcos $674 15.60% 117% 103% $3.89 $15.06
Houston/Baytown/Sugar Land $674 17.70% 114% 102% $3.89 $14.13
Dallas $674 16.90% 109% 99% $3.89 $14.23
Fort Worth/Arlington $674 17.10% 106% 100% $3.89 $13.62
San Antonio/New Braunfels $674 20.00% 101% 91% $3.89 $12.40
Killeen/Temple/Fort Hood $674 21.00% 87% 79% $3.89 $11.25
McAllen/Edinburg/Mission $674 24.80% 83% 76% $3.89 $10.67
El Paso $674 24.80% 78% 72% $3.89 $9.65
Atascosa County $674 23.90% 70% 60% $3.89 $8.58
Statewide $674 19.70% 99% 90% $3.89 $12.90

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