Collective Impact Lincoln

Collective Impact Lincoln lifts up neighborhoods in Nebraska's capital city so that they can be the change they envision.

Stand for #HumaneHousing.

> Read and/or download this .PDF to learn about the state of and possibilities for housing affordability in Lincoln. Then, click the box below to learn more what the City of Lincoln has done as a first step toward #HumaneHousing.

On May 20, 2019, the Lincoln City Council voted 6-1 to approve an amended Ordinance 19-52, adding new protections for renters and creating a more robust set of criteria for city inspectors to act.

Call or email our City Council members. Tell them why housing adequacy and affordability in Lincoln is important to you — and important to the long-term future of our city. 

>Tell us your story about housing affordability in Lincoln. Every voice matters! 

> As the discussion about #HumaneHousing continues, we need your voice. On May 20, City Council members indicated they would continue dialogue on the topic, including the likely creation of a citywide housing task force. Contact us for future opportunities for advocacy and activism regarding affordable housing.

The availability of adequate and affordable housing in Lincoln has become a crisis. In fact, housing is unaffordable for 47 percent of Lincolnites that rent at all income levels. Finding suitable, affordable housing is especially a struggle for low-income Lincolnites, who often must rent. Indeed, 91 percent of extremely low-income families spend more than one-third of their income on rent. Many are living in unsuitable living conditions. In Lincoln, about 12,000 households are living with housing adequacy issues. Lincoln must address these issues before they become worse.

Many housing authorities, from the federal government to advocacy groups, use a “cost burden” standard when talking about housing affordability. That is, households that spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing are considered cost burdened. In other words, their housing is not affordable. For those spending more than 50 percent of their income on housing, they are considered “severely cost burdened.”

The adequacy of housing is also a problem in Lincoln. Adequacy problems can include a lack of plumbing, electricity, hot water, or the presence of vermin among other things. As indicated above, in Lincoln, about 12,000 households are living with elements of housing adequacy issues, which includes incomplete kitchens or plumbing or severe overcrowding.

Income Levels

Median income for a family of 3

HUD-defined “unaffordable cost burden” rent expenditure threshold (30% of income)

Percent and number of renter households paying over 30% of income on rent

All Incomes



47% (21,895)

Low Income



23% (2,575)

Very Low Income



66% (6,885)

Extremely Low Income



91% (12,010)

Sources: National Low Income Housing Coalition, drawn from HUD CHAS data; 2018-2023 Strategic Plan, Urban Development Department, City of Lincoln; The Gap by The National Low Income Housing Coalition.



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