Studies show that half of all renters are cost-burdened

By Peyton Benbow

Major cities across the U.S. are experiencing continuous rent hikes they can’t manage to keep up with. Renters in cities like Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, and New York City face increasing costs of living. As a result, there is a grave rise in eviction rates and homelessness in these cities.

The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies released a study on rent hikes across the U.S.

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in 2022. The study discovered that half of all renter households are cost-burdened, meaning they spend over 30% of their income on rent and utilities. They found that the number of cost-burdened renting households increased to 22.4 million, with the middle-income class affected disproportionately. Severely cost-burdened renter households, those spending over half of their income on the cost of living, rose to 12 million in 2022. 

At the American Mobile Home Park in Auburn, MA, an RV community with a high senior population was hit with 40% rent hikes. A civil rights lawyer group is advocating against this devastating increase from the landlord, who they claim failed to conduct garbage and snow removal properly for the seniors.  

According to a study from Princeton University on eviction and rent hikes, smaller landlords were responsible for most eviction cases, and most situations were repeated cases against the same household at one address. The study pointed out that over 40% of people facing eviction each year are children. 

Thus, lawmakers are hoping to pass bills on federal and state levels to relieve the uptick in evictions and homelessness across the country. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act on January 31, which includes a tax credit for housing developers that designate units for low-income renters. 

The director of the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, Chris Herbert, said: “A larger commitment from the federal government is required. Only then will the nation finally make a meaningful dent in the housing affordability crisis making life so difficult for millions of people”.