Fact Sheet People with Disabilities Living in the US Face Urgent Barriers to Housing
Federal Programs Are Not Meeting the Housing Needs of Disabled People
Susan J. Popkin, Amanda Hermans, Alyse D. Oneto, Lauren Farrell, Micaela Connery, Allie Cannington
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Millions of people living in the United States are feeling the effects of one of the worst affordable housing crises in a generation. But for the growing number of people with disabilities, finding and retaining quality housing they can afford is even more challenging. This group faces unique barriers related to housing affordability, accessibility, and the ability to receive supportive services in their own homes. To further explore how disabled people experience housing barriers, the Urban Institute, in partnership with The Kelsey, analyzed the 2021 Current Population Survey (CPS). According to this analysis, about 12 percent of US residents ages 15 and older live with a disability, or about 39 million people across 32 million households.

This analysis explores the current living situations of housed disabled people, as well as their ability to access federal housing assistance and other support programs. It also identifies which groups within this population might have more difficulty accessing and retaining the housing supports they need, such as people who are eligible for federal housing assistance but not receiving it and people living with an aging head of household. Policymakers should consider these findings alongside existing and future research on other dimensions of housing needs.


Research Areas Housing Social safety net Disability equity policy
Tags Fair housing and housing discrimination Housing stability
Policy Centers Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center
Research Methods Quantitative data analysis