Renters Paying Over a Third of Their Income

We love our homes, though renters are feeling "house poor" these days. Harvard University claims there are 6 million more cost-burdened renters now than there were in 2001. More American renters than ever spend over a third of their income on rent and utilities. Bruce McClenny of ApartmentData.com says Houston has had some interesting events that have caused rent rates to rise. "[Hurricane] Harvey had a big impact on rental. It spiked up when people need places to live while they were out of their houses due to flooding."

Harvard University's Alex Hermann says renters who make over $75,000 a year are part of the reason for high rents. "The traditional first time home buyer is becoming a high income renter and pushing up rents for everyone." Hermann says they want to rent amenity- rich apartments. Their ease in renting is driving rental property prices up for all.

Houston is no exception to the plight of the cost burdened. Says Hermann, "Among households in the Houston metropolitan area with income from $30,000 to $45,000 a year 63% of them are cost burdened with their housing expenses. And that's 7 percentage points higher than the United States as a whole."

Sadly, Hermann says low income renters are severely burdened and often pay over half of their income to housing!

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