According to the Dodge Data & Analytics Supply Track data,
approximately 394,000 multi-family apartment units were completed in
2017, another 381,000 units in 2018 and 453,000 units are expected in
Despite the growth in number of multi-family units, the nation’s
supply of low-cost rental housing significantly shrank after the Great
Recession and has remained for the most part unchanged since 2015. A
National Low Income Housing Coalition study found that for every 100
extremely low-income renters, only 35 rental units were affordable and
available in 2016, which is a shortfall of more than 7.2 million units.
According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University,
more than 2.5 million units priced below $800 were lost between 1990
and 2016. Additionally, job growth is expected to be at 1.0% in 2019,
which would produce 1.5 million new jobs according to Fannie Mae’s
forecast. According to the Fannie Mae 2019 Multi-family Market Outlook,
based on that job growth, multi-family rental demand theoretically could
increase in the range of between 250,000 units to as high as 370,000
units. Further straining the nation’s supply of low-cost rental housing.
As a result of demand, vacancy rates remain at historically low
levels. Additionally, the low-income vacancy rates remain lower at
government-assisted projects than at market rate projects. This has been
a consistent trend as the need for low-income housing far surpasses the
supply. Unsubsidized low-income housing units are under constant threat
of being lost to upgrading or removal, while subsidized contracts are
at risk of converting to market rate units. Affordability restrictions
on 533,000 LIHTC units, 425,000 project-based section 8 units and
142,000 other subsidized units are set to expire within the next 10
years. As a result of both tenant and industry demand, the outlook for
additional low-income housing remains positive.
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