For more than 30 years, the nation has been losing affordable rental housing for extremely low income households (those earning less than $16,000 a year nationally). Affordable housing is defined as housing stock available at 30 percent of a household's income. From 1993 to 2003, the inventory of these units plunged by 1.2 million. With losses to upgrading, abandonment, or demolition, currently there is a nationwide shortage of rentals affordable and available to low-income households of 5.4 million units.
Currently, 30,000 units of assisted affordable housing in the Chicago area and nearly 70,000 units statewide are at risk of being lost to the private market by 2010.