Renter Cost-Burden Shares Remain High | Joint Center for Housing Studies (harvard.edu)
Home Price-to-Income Ratio Reaches Record High | Joint Center for Housing Studies (harvard.edu)
America’s Rental Housing 2024 (harvard.edu)
Although rent price acceleration has slowed in most places, in the last decade there were 2.1 million less low-income affordable rental units on the market. Rents have outpaced wages by 19% in the last 21 years. over 50% of renters in the USA are cost burdened, meaning more than 30% of income. This cost burdened percentage keeps on rising. 12 million renter households are burdened with an over 50% of income cost, which has set a new record. Needless to say, with the recent food price inflation, budgets, like our social safety net, are wearing thin.
For renter households with a $30,000 and lower income, $10 a day is the median left after rent. For a substantial portion in this income range, it is under $5.60 a day after housing cost. This bleak picture is driving more to illegal housing, living in a vehicle, homelessness, and having more in the household that what is good for human health. Apparently, there is a 165 square foot per person standard, but the enforcement seems to be nonexistent. Some, of the most well fed, are convincing Congress to cut the harmful regulations and red tape. Presumably to increase their already substantial income flows.
There is a substantial long-standing effort, in both size and scope that is informing the citizens of a convenient and advantageous falsehood. That is illegal immigrants are taking our jobs. to be fair, if you allege that long enough, eventually when a recession occurs, unemployment will be higher. But with record low unemployment to continue to broadcast this along with other falsehoods is a form of partisan parasitism. Machiavelli and other sociopaths would be very proud of these efforts for effect greater power and privilege for the elites by sucking blood from those most cast aside.
About 1.8 million poor renters per decade are falling outside of our less than adequate safety net. It is nice that we are helping to some degree 450 thousand (of the 2.3 million. That is more than a drop in the bucket but darn….
We have been elimination public housing and not adequately keeping up with maintenance of the existing old stock. About 90 billion in “deferred” maintenance is not indicative of a caring nation in my view. What is even worse is how those who are priced out of housing are treated by public authorities.
We are building rental stock at a slow pace. The average rental unit in 2021was 44 years old, up 10 years in the last 20 years. Unmet repairs are mounting at a rapid pace. Accessibility for handicapped, and esp older handicapped people is atrocious. Energy bills per square foot are much higher in these older units, adding to the human carbon flux even though many struggle to keep warm or cool due to limited means.
There is some builder activity for renters with over 75K in income. Nice units are being built for renters with $100,000 to $150,000 in annual income. People that in the past could get a mortgage are now driving some of the building activity due to rising home prices. But for the 1/3 or renters whose income was under 30k in 2022, and whose median net wealth (including retirement savings) vehicles and all Houshold items, beds, furniture, pots and pans etc was under $3200 bucks, it looks like disinvestment by both the public and private sectors is a significant problem. Cutting Social Security, and Medicare will put an even greater burden on these renter households as they age. Already a third of these low-income rental households have at least one person with disabilities. It is even harder for an older person with disabilities to survive in a tent or car or even suffer indignities. The suicide rate has been rising for 25 years, some choose a final “solution” to their woes.
In the last decade 47 states have lost low-income rentals and DC as well. 42 states have lost over 10% and 24 lost more than 20%. Poverty income is $19,720 a year for a Houshold of 2. Low-income renters earn under 30k a year. Even a full-time job at $15.00/hr puts a 2-person household into being a middle-income renter. Over 2/3 of household earning 30 to 45 k are rent burdened. The rent is too high vs their income, there has been a greater than 15% increase in the last 20 years.
There is a relatively low rate of excessive rent burden for households earning over 100K, much of that market is in professionally managed Apt buildings with 20 or more units. I know, in the West End of Boston over 7 years ago many 1-bedroom apartments were renting for over $2500 a month. These professional companies did not allow renters to be burdened, rent could not be over 25% of income and you had to have renters’ liability insurance, or your lease would be revoked, or you could not move in.
57% of renters over age 65 are cost burdened in the USA. 34% spend over 50% of their income on housing. It is even worse for renters under age 25. 1/3 of renters with a full-time year-round job are cost burdened. 60% of households headed by someone with a disability are cost burdened as well.
To sum it up my reading of the America’s Rental Housing 2024:
renters, in the desire to increase residual income after rent, will lower the square footage per person, move to poor performing school districts, more to less safe neighborhoods, move to where there are more environmental toxins, move to where there is a greater risk of perils such as floods, and or sea level rise. Move to non-handicap accessible units, move to structurally inadequate units including for fuel and electricity and roof leaks and vermin and cockroaches/bedbugs/lice, longer commutes, move to illegal Apts, move to paying cash, move to greater exposure to health and safety risk including greater air pollution including PM2.5 and moving to communities with less amenities. some buy less safe and less efficient cars or choose to walk further to take multiple buses to get to work. Some wear more clothes in the winter and use thicker blankets and use less cooling in the summer, Some get worse beds so sleep and comfort become less obtainable. Some end up in Church programs, on friends’ couches, in cars, under bridges, in tents etc. Some have the double burden of racism. Some just shorten their lives from various drugs including alcohol, eat less healthy cheaper food, some find a way to end the ceaseless fucking pain and torment with a borrowed 357.