Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan responded to a recent report by Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies today on CNBC. The report shows that one in every four U.S. households is paying more than half their income on rent and middle-income Americans are struggling just as badly as those in a low-income bracket. Rents are rising, vacancies are falling and buyers simply can’t get credit, the report revealed.
Asked about helping the rental housing market and pushing homeownership, Donovan says, in the video above, that HUD didn’t have the luxury of prioritizing one over the other. “We’ve had the biggest increase in worst-case rental housing needs over a two-year period, 2007 to 2009,” he said, “in the history of looking at those numbers.”
He was keen to emphasize that the recovery act has helped almost 900,000 people avoid homelessness and that the department has helped to save the low-income housing tax credit market, the most significant support for low-income rental housing.
“We have to have a more balanced housing policy, nationally,” he proclaimed, also thwarting accusations that the department sees private investors as the pariahs of the market, calling them a “key part” of the housing market’s recovery.