Report Finds Affordable Rental Housing Shortage in 11 Largest Metro Areas
Using data from the American Community Survey from 2006 to 2014, a National Affordable Rent Housing Landscape report recently released by New York University’s Furman Center and Capital One found that the renter population grew in both central city and suburban areas while more renters struggled to find affordable housing in the 11 largest metropolitan areas in the United States. The report examined rental housing affordability trends in the nation’s largest metropolitan areas, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco from 2006 to 2014 and identified the impact these trends had as the renter population increased while affordable housing rates continued to decline. The report defined “affordable” rent as comprising less than 30 percent of a household’s income.
In all 11 metro areas, both the renter population and housing stock grew during this period. By the end of the period, the number and proportion of people renting had increased—both within central cities and in the surrounding suburbs. The report also showed a gap between growing demand and supply. From 2006 to 2014, the renter population grew faster than the stock of rental units in the 11 largest metro areas, and in metro areas nationwide, pushing the average rental household size up and putting pressure on the affordability of rental housing.
On average, in metro areas nationwide, rents rose faster than incomes. In nine of the 11 largest U.S. metro areas, the typical renter could afford fewer than 40 percent of the units on the market in the previous year. In the Miami, New York City, and Los Angeles metro areas, the typical renter could afford fewer than 25 percent of recent units.
Seven of the 11 largest metro areas also became less affordable to the typical renter between 2006 and 2014. The seven metro areas are Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.
The report also found that in 2014, the majority of renters in eight of the 11 metropolitan areas were cost-burdened, spending at least 30 percent of their income on housing. At least one-quarter of renters in seven of the metropolitan areas were severely cost burdened, spending at least half of their income on housing. And the size of the average renter household also increased, with more people doubling and tripling up due to higher rents and a lack of affordable and available units.