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:
- 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 PMGuardian.com comparing the percentage of rental households in the top 25 American cities.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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®)
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