Understanding housing costs and conditions is vital to measuring the well-being of SSI recipients. Housing is the largest expenditure for SSI recipients, accounting for a 48 percent budget share for single-person SSI households. Between 1980 and 2020, SSI benefits increased by 329 percent while home values increased by 450 percent. This suggests that SSI recipient material well-being may have declined, especially in high cost-of-living areas as more money was needed to pay for housing. Several policies aim to assist SSI recipients with housing, including rental assistance programs (public housing, housing vouchers, low-income housing tax credit) and the ABLE accounts, introduced in 2014, may help SSI recipients transition into homeownership by loosening SSI asset limits.
This research project will provide a descriptive analysis of the expenditures, quality, and trends in housing for SSI recipients focusing on four key elements:
1) Trends in housing expenditures
2) Trends in housing quality
3) Homeownership trends with a focus on ABLE accounts
4) Measuring housing assistance benefit for SSI households
By providing a better understanding of the housing expenditures, quality, and challenges facing SSI household this research should help inform policymakers as to the sufficiently and well-being of SSI recipients and summarizing housing outcomes for current participants and policies.