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Science and Environment / IPBS

Indiana worst in Midwest for cost burden on lowest-income renters

Nearly three quarters of the lowest-income Hoosiers have to spend at least half of their income on housing. That’s the worst rate in the Midwest and 13th worst in the country.

The data comes from a housing shortage report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition and Prosperity Indiana.

The report defines “extremely low-income” as households making 30 percent or less of the area median income. In Indiana, that’s about $26,000 for a family of four.

Prosperity Indiana Policy Director Andrew Bradley said Indiana has a shortage of more than 135,000 affordable rental homes for that population.

“So, that’s where you see where employers are saying they’re having a hard time finding warehouse workers or service workers, home health care provider workers," Bradley said. "They may not be able to afford to live in, to move to or stay in those communities.”

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Bradley said addressing that shortage requires an “all of the above” strategy that includes “creative” ways for communities to meet the need.

“And that includes things like land banks, which is where community partners come together to clear blight and make parcels available for affordable housing units,” Bradley said.

Bradley noted that the largest proportion of extremely low-income households are working families.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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