Rising Rents Burden Record Number of Americans

Rising rents, stagnant incomes and the effects of the recession have pushed a record number of Americans to take on hazardous housing cost burdens, says a new report. Low-income renters are especially vulnerable.
December 10, 2013, 11am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"Demand for rental units has surged, with credit standards tight and many families unable to scrape together enough for a down payment for buying a home," explains Annie Lowrey. "At the same time, supply has declined, with homebuilders and landlords often targeting the upper end of the market."

A report [PDF] released Monday by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard documents the untenable results, as millions of Americans take on severe rent burdens. “We are in the midst of the worst rental affordability crisis that this country has known,” said Shaun Donovan, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

With developers unwilling or unable to meet the rising affordable housing demand, what is the solution?

“I think government investment is the only way that significant numbers of people are going to able to stay,” said Elizabeth Falcon, campaign organizer for the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development. “And right now we are not seeing government at any level commit enough to help a significant number of people.”

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Published on Monday, December 9, 2013 in The Washington Post
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