Georgia Department of Community Affairs releases Housing Needs Assessment

Atlanta, Ga. (November 22, 2023) - The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) today released its Georgia Housing Needs Assessment. These data will inform how DCA targets investments across its wide portfolio of housing programs.  

“The Housing Needs Assessment highlights the critical need for affordable housing,” said DCA Commissioner Christopher Nunn. “That term has different meanings to different people, but essentially, we are dealing with the fact that Georgia’s workforce and senior citizens need to be able to afford to live in their homes.”   

The authors of the Housing Needs Assessment used a single, measurable definition for “affordable housing.” The assessment defined affordable housing as the ability of a household to pay no more than 30 percent of its total household income on their total housing costs.   

“Safe and affordable housing is the platform for opportunity for residents across Georgia,” said Philip Gilman, Deputy Commissioner for Housing Assistance and Development. “As the Housing Needs Assessment shows, we are at a critical juncture were adding to the state's available housing supply is vital to continuing to create economic opportunity for both our families and our communities more broadly."  

According to the assessment, the growth in the number of households being created since 2013 has outpaced the number of housing units being produced. The rise in interest rates has cooled down the sales market, resulting in potential homebuyers remaining in rental units. Subsequently, potential homebuyers are forced to rent down-market, which leaves Georgia’s lowest income renters with the fewest housing options. This lack of housing stock makes low-income households vulnerable to housing instability. While the impact is felt most acutely at lowest incomes, there is a supply gap at all income levels.   

The Georgia Housing Needs Assessment identified several key trends, including the following:    

  • Unemployment continues to drop, and Georgia is seeing major economic and population growth. Unemployment has fallen from eight percent to five percent since 2010, and in 2022, the unemployment rate was three percent.  

  • Georgia’s population growth rate has increased to nearly 11 percent, higher than the national of seven percent, over the past decade. It is projected that growth by 2030 will be nearly 12 percent. 

  • The market has shifted to respond to the shortage with both for-sale and rental housing.  Mid-range, rental housing options consisting of five or more units have seen the largest growth, having no listings in 2019 and 2020, 143 listings in 2021, and increasing to 866 listings in 2022.    

  • The need for housing, especially at lower income tiers, far outpaces what the market is producing. In 2019, household growth exceeded the number of housing units produced that same year. Lack of housing supply is felt most acutely by families who live between 31 and 50 percent of the Area Median Income.  In 2019, 29 percent of all Georgia households were estimated to be cost-burdened, paying more than 30 percent of their household income on monthly housing costs. Overall, 43 percent of all renters were cost-burdened compared to 19 percent of all homeowners. 

The assessment concludes that there is need at every income level, and housing markets are driven by both household growth and the overall state of the economy. The increase in households has created a housing gap, causing low-income households to be vulnerable to housing instability. Vibrant economic growth will attract new resident households for employment opportunities and provide a variety of wage rates for all workers. Increasing population growth will spur housing production to try and meet demand, and DCA will continue to invest available resources to close the gap between the housing supply needed and what is being provided by the market.  

For more information on other available housing resources, please visit