By Shaun Heasley ~ disabilityscoop.com
Housing is too costly for people with disabilities living on Supplemental Security Income in nearly every place across the country, with apartment rents often exceeding an individual’s entire monthly income.
Nationally, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in 2014 totaled 104 percent of the monthly SSI payment for a person with a disability.
“From Bethel, Alaska to Boston, Mass., to Tallahassee, Fla., we have an affordable housing crisis in our nation’s local communities, and it is particularly acute for people with disabilities on SSI,” said Kevin Martone, executive director of the Technical Assistance Collaborative, which produced the report along with the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities.
To assess the housing situation for those with disabilities, the organizations compared monthly SSI payments in 2014 to the fair market rents for studio and one-bedroom apartments in communities across the country, as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
They found that the average monthly SSI payment for a single person was $750. At the same time, the national average for a one-bedroom apartment was $780 while a studio apartment cost $674 per month.
Both options far exceed what’s considered affordable under federal recommendations, which indicate that housing costs should account for no more than 30 percent of a person’s income.
The findings suggest that not much has changed since 2013 when the groups last issued their biannual report dubbed “Priced Out.” At that time, renting even the smallest apartments in each state cost at least 60 percent of what SSI paid.
“As this report makes clear, rental housing is out of reach for people living on SSI without an ongoing rent subsidy,” said Andrew Sperling, co-chair of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities’ Housing Task Force.