Monday, September 29, 2014

Rent is rising faster than income, leaving many struggling to afford housing

The cost of rent is climbing faster than income, leaving many renters, especially those in mostly rural states, struggling to make ends meet, Tim Henderson reports for Stateline. The average U.S. household spent 30.8 percent of income on rent in 2013, up from 25.5 percent in 2000. In 27 states, households spent more than 30 percent of income on rent in 2013, while in 2000 no state was above 30 percent.

The biggest change was in Rockland County, New York, in the suburbs of New York City, where the average amount of income spent on rent has increased from 28.3 percent to 40.5 percent, Henderson writes. Passaic County, New Jersey, increased from 26.8 percent to 37.6 percent; Wayne County, Michigan, from 25 to 35.7 percent; and Hinds County, Mississippi, from 26.6. to 36.4 percent.

"Mississippi had one of the most jarring drops in rental affordability statewide since 2000, as median rents rose 61 percent from $439 to $708 a month, while renters’ income increased by only about 19 percent," Henderson writes.

Florida residents pay the most, spending 34.1 percent of their income on rent, Henderson writes. Florida is followed by California, 33.8 percent; Hawaii, 32.9 percent; New Jersey, 32.2 percent; New York, 32.1 percent; Oregon and Vermont, 31.9 percent; Connecticut, 31.6 percent; Georgia, Louisiana and Michigan, 31.4 percent; Maine and Rhode Island, 31.2 percent; South Carolina, 31 percent; Colorado, 30.9 percent; Maryland and New Mexico, 30.8 percent; Mississippi, 30.7 percent; Delaware, 30.6 percent; Washington, 30.5 percent; Pennsylvania, 30.2 percent; Massachusetts and Tennessee, 30.1 percent; and Alabama and North Carolina, 30 percent. (Read more)

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