Coping With Rent Burden

The rent eats first, they say. But how do people survive when the rent also eats almost everything?

December 23, 2020, 9:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Fotos593 / Shutterstock

Researchers at the University of Southern California Price Center for Social Innovation recently published the results of a massive survey of Los Angeles-area renters to gather data on the effects of the region's housing affordability crisis.

The "How do Renters Cope with Unaffordability?" report was led by Jovanna Rosen, Sean Angst, Soledad De Gregorio, and Gary Painter, who spent 2019 conducting surveys in Spanish and English in the Los Angeles Promise Zone (LAPZ), Central Los Angeles, and the South Los Angeles Promise Zone (SLATE-Z).

Key findings from the report include data showing many households cutting back on basic household needs to account for rent burdens.

"A majority of households have cut back their consumption of basic needs over the past two years in order to afford rent, including food, clothing, and entertainment and family activities. Many have acquired more debt as well," according to the report.

"Over 60 percent of surveyed households reduced food consumption and approximately 45 percent reduced spending on clothing and/or entertainment and family activities. About 45 percent of households reported delaying bill payment or taking on additional debt. About one in five households reduced their health expenses, and nearly the same share reduced education expenses. Roughly one in three households reduced their transportation costs."

The full report of the survey's findings are available to read online, with significant details included about how and where these finds varied.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020 in USC Sol Price Center for Innovation

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