National Study Finds High Rents Hurting Millions of Americans

March 20, 2015 | by Katie Claflin

Categories: Affordable Housing, Rental Housing

In its recent study The Rise of the Renter Nation, the national Homes for All campaign reports that there are currently 43 million rental households in the United States and that nearly half of these households are paying more than they can afford toward their rent.

The high cost of rent is squeezing the budgets of more than 20 million American families, forcing them to cut back on other necessities each month. And rental affordability is expected to worsen in the coming years as millions of additional households enter the rental market.

The Homes for All campaign attributes the growing affordability crisis to the following conditions:

  1. Increase in Renters.  More than 6 million renters entered the rental market between 2005 and 2013, many as a result of the housing market downturn, and at least 4 million additional renters are expected to enter the rental market by 2023. Click here to view an infographic created by comparing the percentage of rental households in the top 25 American cities.
  2. Rising Rents and Falling Incomes.  Rent prices climbed 6 percent between 2000 and 2012, while median renter incomes (when adjusted for inflation) fell by 13 percent during that time.
  3. Lack of Affordable Units. Citing studies released by the New York Times, Urban Institute and National Low Income Housing Coalition, the Homes for All campaign argues that current rental housing stock is often too expensive even for middle-income households, with the need for affordable units even greater among low-income households.
  4.  Lack of Federal Funding for Rental Programs.  Renters currently receive less than one fourth of federal housing assistance funds, despite making up more than a third of total households.

Click here to download the full study, which includes the Homes for All campaign’s recommendations to improve affordability.

For more information about rental affordability, check out the following articles:

High Cost Burdens and Homeownership Gaps Accompany Housing Recovery (Urban Land Institute)

Accelerated Housing Costs Have Renters Feeling the Squeeze (National Association of REALTORS®)

On the House blog posts are meant to provide general information on various housing-related issues, research and programs. We are not liable for any errors or inaccuracies in the information provided by blog sources. Furthermore, this blog is not legal advice and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney.


Rental property

This is truly sad. Middle class people can feel this and it’s unfortunate how the people with power just don’t care at all!

Joe Kazan

Rental households in the United States aren’t in affordable level for about half of the households. They can hardly meet their demand which can hamper their expected natural life style. The increasing trend of this problem in near future is also a concerning matter. The given facilities for the households given to them should be enriched.

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