Data Points: The Housing Needs of Veterans

written by Martena Reed
November 12, 2013

In 2011, about 5.2 million veteran-headed households spent over 30 percent of their income on housing costs. And about a quarter of those households spent more than half of their income on housing costs.

Today the National Low Income Housing Coalition released Housing Instability among Our Veterans, a report showing characteristics and housings needs of veterans.  The report shows that veterans who are racial minorities, females, who have a disability, and who served after September 11, 2001 have the greatest housing cost burden, placing them at risk of homelessness. Some other key findings: 

  • Extremely low income female-headed veteran families are just as likely as married veteran families to experience housing cost burden.
  • Almost 90 percent of veterans who served after 9/11 paid more than half of their incomes in housing costs.
  • Seven out of ten (70%) of extremely low income veteran households spent at least half of their income on housing costs. But in D.C., Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, and Rhode Island more than 80 percent of veteran households with extremely low income were severely cost burdened.

So what does all of this mean? A lot of veteran households spend a large chunk of their income on housing costs, leaving them at risk of homelessness. Several communities across the country have shown decreases in homelessness among veterans in 2013. But if we want to continue to see decreases, veterans need to have access to affordable housing. 

Below is the Alliance's interactive 2013 Veteran Homelessness Map, where you can see veteran homelessness rates around the country and how the country is progressing toward the administration's goal of ending veteran homelessness by the end of 2015.

View 2013 Veteran Homelessness Point in Time Count Map in a larger map