This series of stories reported by CNHI delves into the reasons behind the nation’s staggering lack of affordable housing, how it’s impacting residents and what government officials and community leaders are doing to find solutions.

Jessica McAmis thought her housing woes were over in March when she received a federal voucher that would provide $1,430 a month to help pay for a three-bedroom apartment in Howard County, Indiana.

Despite having a job that qualifies for student loan forgiveness, Candice Drummond and her husband are still burdened by debt, preventing them from purchasing a home closer to their family.

Federal, state and local programs that help some of the poorest Americans access rental and homeownership assistance are financially strapped and underfunded, leaving millions of Americans without access to benefits they could be receiving.