1. The Numerator: All SNAP Hh's Using the Excess Shelter Cost Deduction=16,159 million.
From the SNAP 2014 Characteristics report HERE Table B 4 shows a total of 16.159 million households with the excess shelter deduction.
2. The Denominator: All Cost Burdened HH's Below $50k Income: 17.988 million
In the 2015 Harvard Joint Center for Housing's State of the Nation's Housing report there is a table ( W-9) in an Excel workbook HERE that shows a breakout of housing cost burdens by income level for 2013, according to the American Community Survey (ACS). [Updated 2014 ACS data should be available later this week in the 2016 SONH report].
The national count of all HH's below $50k with severe cost burdens was 17.988 million. (The count of all HH's with incomes below $30k was 16.123 million).
For my calculation I will use the higher <$50k count of severe cost burdened households (17.988 million), even though the 2014 average SNAP gross income was much lower at $9,108.
3. The Result: Total HH's with SNAP excess shelter cost deductions = 90% of the total count of severe cost burdened households with incomes below $50k.
That percentage would increase to 100.4% if the count of severe cost burdened households below $30k was used: 16.159/16.123=100.4%).
- There is no way I know to check to see if the SNAP households using the excess shelter deduction are the same as those HH's reporting severe cost burdens in the ACS surveys. IF they did match, the data indicates that 9 out of 10 severe cost burdened households, or more [both renters and owners] received some indirect help with their high housing costs, through an increase in SNAP benefits.
- The Harvard data set (which uses ACS data) and the SNAP excessive housing cost burden deductions both rely on self reporting.
- SNAP doesn't require verification of housing costs. There is a financial incentive to overstate housing costs as it can lead to increased food stamp benefits. 72% of SNAP households have shelter costs that qualify for the excess housing cost deduction.
- Excessive housing cost deductions from income for SNAP are capped for families, but not for elderly and disabled households.The overall US Inflation index used to adjust the excess housing cost deduction limit annually may not adequately capture changes in rents, especially in individual markets.
- HUD rental assistance programs serve about 25% of all income eligible renters and rents are verified and capped by fair market rents/payment standards, budget approval processes, operating cost increase limits, and rent reasonableness procedures.
Originally created and posted on the Oregon Housing Blog.