Study: Lack of Accessible Housing Fosters Unfair Cost Burdens

February 24, 2020

Accessible homes—those with features designed to improve quality of life for people with disabilities—are 10% more expensive than nonaccessible homes nationwide, even when controlling for size and location, according to a new study by Apartment List. That puts an unfair financial burden on consumers who require accessibility features, the study cautions.

Fifty-seven percent of renters with a physical disability are cost-burdened compared with 46% of renters without physical disabilities, the study shows. This kind of discrepancy, due to an inadequate supply of accessible housing, is occurring in 97 of the nation’s 100 largest metro areas. There are 15.2 million households in the U.S. that include a person with a physical disability, but only 6.6 million homes are “livable to people with moderate mobility difficulties,” the study notes.

Overall, the median household income of renters with a disability is 45% lower than those without a disability—but the median rent is only 20% lower, the report shows. However, some progress is apparent: “Newer homes—particularly those built in multifamily units—are becoming more accessible,” the report states. “Over 20% of multifamily homes built during the 2000s are accessible, more than double the rate from three decades earlier. This favors renters who are more likely to live in multifamily housing. However, renters with disabilities may continue to struggle with affordability since newer accessible homes tend to be more expensive than the older, less accessible homes they replace.”

Table showing shortage of accessible housing by city. Visit source link at the end of this article for more information.

© Apartment List

How Accessible Is the Housing Market?” ApartmentList (Feb. 19, 2020)