In 1990, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee directed HUD to "resume the annual compilation of a worst case housing needs survey of the United States... [to estimate] the number of families and individuals whose incomes fall 50 percent below an area's median income, who either pay 50 percent or more of their monthly income for rent, or who live in substandard housing."
Households with "worst case needs" are defined as unassisted renters with very low incomes who have one of two "priority problems" either paying more than half of their income for housing ("severe rent burden") or living in severely substandard housing. Renters are classified by income using three income limits: Low Income (LI) if their income does not exceed 80 percent of area median income (AMI), Very Low Income (VLI) if income is not more than 50 percent of AMI, and Extremely Low Income (ELI) if income is not more than 30 percent of AMI.
This report is the tenth in a series of Worst Case Needs reports to Congress. This 2005 report is organized into five basic sections Chapter 1 provides an introduction, including a discussion of terms and sources. Chapter 2 outlines the findings of worst case needs by various categories such as demographics and geography. Chapter 3 presents an analysis using data from the Census Bureau's Survey of Income and Program Participation to examine the duration of severe rent burdens. Chapter 4 assesses the supply of affordable rental housing. Chapter 5 presents new analysis of how worst case needs relate to neighborhood poverty rates.