Recent studies suggest the gap between affordable housing supply and need is steadily widening.
For every 100 low-income renter households nationwide, there are only 29 affordable and available rentals, according to a report last year by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.
The report found median rents in the United States increased 6 percent during the previous two years, when adjusted for inflation, while renters’ incomes fell 13 percent.
Non-profits short on funds have focused money where they can get the biggest impact, according to DeFranza and others. Projects are often financed through a patchwork of sources including federal tax credits, banks and private investors, and occasionally local governments.
“Hill, one of the first tenants to move into Holcroft Park, said she doesn’t want to stay more than a couple years.
“We don’t want to stay here forever. It wouldn’t be fair,” she said. “I want someone else like myself who needs affordable housing to stay here. What happened to us could happen to anyone.”