Housing Access and Stability HOUSING ACCESS AND STABILITY People’s access to stable, affordable, and high-quality housing is a critical component of opportunity in all other aspects of their lives Numerous studies show that households are considered to be cost burdened if they spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing and severely cost burdened if they spend more than 50 percent of their income on housing. Majority of the families we work with, at CAIRO, have little left over each month to spend on other necessities such as food, clothing, utilities, and health care. Due to a limited rental market with few affordable vacancies in Portland metro, people with the lowest incomes are forced to rent substandard housing that exposes them to health and safety risks, such as vermin, mold, water leaks, and inadequate heating or cooling systems. They may also be forced to move in with others, potentially resulting in overcrowding, consequently affecting our families’ mental health and overall wellbeing. At CAIRO, we understand that an infrastructure of housing stability services can ensure that support for the most vulnerable in the African immigrant and refugee communities. We constantly strive to reduce barriers to stable housing, eliminate racial disparities and maximize key housing functions that create pathways to long-term, affordable housing and home ownership.