In her testimony at a hearing of the housing subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee, Coalition President Sheila Crowley noted that “Observers often ask if the shortage of rental housing for the low and extremely low income population is a housing problem or an income problem. The answer is that it is both.” Two news stories this last week illustrate this fact.

Expensive communities make for difficult living for many people, and those with limited income have it worst. In Marin County, California, community meetings are under way to engage residents in revising Marin’s 10-Year Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness. County leaders say that the precariously housed, those who are a missed paycheck, illness or other incident away from homelessness, make up a large part of the population in one of the three least affordable counties in America.

In communities with less expensive housing, an increase in income for lower income people could have a tremendous impact on their ability to rent. This article from the Deseret News explores the debate over raising the minimum wage and shows that a pay increase for minimum wage workers could help left them out of poverty and closer to affording rental housing.