Report: Renters Competing for Fewer Affordable Units Nationwide
A report recently issued by the Furman Center at New York University and Capital One examined rental housing affordability trends in the nation’s largest metropolitan areas (New York; Los Angeles; Chicago; Houston; Philadelphia; Dallas; San Francisco; Washington, D.C.; Boston; Atlanta; and Miami) from 2006 to 2013. According to the report, the supply of affordable rental housing failed to keep pace with demand in the 11 largest U.S. cities while rents rose faster than household incomes in five of them.
The renter population has grown in all 11 cities. Nine cities experienced double-digit growth rates, and five (Boston, Miami, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington) had growth rates of more than 20 percent. By 2013, renters were the majority in nine of the cities. In every city except Atlanta, the increase in the number of rental units lagged behind the increase in the number of renter households.
In addition, with the exception of Dallas and Houston, the average renter in each metropolitan area could not afford the majority of recently available rental units in their city. The cities were even less affordable to low-income renters, who could afford no more than 11 percent of recently available units in the most affordable cities. In seven of the cities, more than 51 percent of renters have a rent cost burden, spending more than 30 percent of their income for rent and utilities. Miami, with 36 percent, had the greatest percentage of renters with a severe rent burden, those spending more than half of their income for rent and utilities, while San Francisco had the lowest at 21 percent. At least 75 percent of low-income renters were severely rent burdened in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia.