Rural News

Jennifer Emerling / There Is More Work To Be Done

Updated data on USDA tenants released

February 26, 2019 – USDA has released its annual “fair housing occupancy report,” which provides data on the characteristics of tenants in its multifamily portfolio. The report, which uses September 2018 data, shows the average annual income of Section 515 tenant households is $13,112 with the average income of Section 515 residents who receive USDA Section 521 Rental Assistance at $10,911.

White non-Hispanics make up 67.8 percent of tenant households in Section 515 developments, while 79.8 percent of Section 514/516 farmworker households are Hispanic. Female-headed households (71.0 percent) and elderly/disabled households (62.8 percent in all properties and 64.4 percent in Section 515) also comprise large majorities of the tenant population.

Almost seven in ten households receive USDA Rental Assistance (68.4 percent), with an additional 13.1 percent getting some other form of rent aid. Just under 12 percent of tenant households are cost-burdened, paying more than 30 percent of their incomes for their housing. More than a third of the cost-burdened tenants pay over half their incomes for housing.

The report says the number of properties in USDA’s rental portfolio fell by 1.79 percent over the past year. The portfolio lost 227 Section 515 properties and 24 farmworker housing properties, with a total of 4,820 units. No additional information about these developments is provided.

Altogether, the report offers more than 40 pages of national and state-level data for tenants living in Section 515 rental housing, living in Section 514/516 farm labor housing, or receiving Section 521 Rental Assistance. Reports from past years are available on HAC’s website.

Father and son