The State of The Nation’s Housing – 2021

Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University
Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies - 2021 Cover

Even as the US economy continues to recover, the inequalities amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic remain front and center. Households that weathered the crisis without financial distress are snapping up the limited supply of homes for sale, pushing up prices and further excluding less affluent buyers from homeownership. At the same time, millions of households that lost income during the shutdowns are behind on their housing payments and on the brink of eviction or foreclosure. A disproportionately large share of these at-risk households are renters with low incomes and people of color. While policymakers have taken bold steps to prop up consumers and the economy, additional government support will be necessary to ensure that all households benefit from the expanding economy.

HAC is a proud sponsor of Harvard’s State of the Nation’s Housing report.

Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies Releases State of the Nation’s Housing 2020

For most of 2020, the country has been beset by the COVID-19 pandemic, social unrest sparked by longstanding racial injustice, and the devastating impacts of climate change. Although low interest rates and continued growth in some sectors have bolstered homebuying and the broader economy, conditions have worsened for many households. Indeed, the nation’s failure to live up to its long-stated goal of a decent home in a suitable environment for all has never been clearer— particularly in the lack of affordable rental housing and unequal access to homeownership. Today’s crisis conditions call for a comprehensive re-envisioning of national housing policy.

Read the Report

Attend the release event on Nov. 19 at 4:00 pm EST

Housing Change and Occupancy in Rural America

Housing Change and Occupancy in Rural America

Housing Change and Occupancy in Rural America

A community’s housing stock is one of its most important resources. The presence of high quality and affordable housing units reflects vibrancy and makes a community attractive for both current and future households and businesses. Housing influences everything from community services to health outcomes. The absence of affordable high-quality housing puts a strain on a community and its residents. A community can also be negatively impacted if too many housing units are vacant and property values are not sufficient to generate revenues for local services and to entice development and growth.

Housing Occupancy Research Brief Cover

Housing Occupancy and Vacancy in Rural America

Seasonal and Recreational Homes Contribute to Higher Housing Vacancy Rates in Rural & Small Town America

According to the 2010 Census, there are just over 30 million housing units in rural and small town communities, making up 23 percent of nation’s housing stock. Of these, approximately 25 million, or 82 percent, of rural homes are occupied. Housing vacancy rates in rural and small town areas are approximately 7 percentage points higher than the national level. Much of the higher vacancy rate in rural areas is due to the number of homes unoccupied for seasonal, recreational, or occasional use. In fact, nearly 60 percent of all vacant seasonal, or recreational homes nationwide are located in rural and small town areas. Additionally, the number of housing units in rural and small town communities increased by nearly 3 million (11 percent) between 2000 and 2010.

For more information on this issue, check out HAC’s newest Rural Research Note: Housing Occupancy and Vacancy in Rural America (PDF)