Friday, July 3, 2009

Renter affordability worsens over the decade | | The Courier | Houma, LA

Renter affordability worsens over the decade The Courier Houma, LA:
AP Real Estate Writer
Thursday, July 2, 2009

"...The financial plight of the nation’s 34 million renters has deteriorated rapidly since the beginning of the decade, yet they are rarely included in conversations about housing affordability.

Half of all renters now spend at least 30 percent of their before-tax income on rent and utility payments, that’s up from about 40 percent in 2000, according to an analysis by the Associated Press. One in four shell out more than half of their income to cover those expenses, up from one in five.

And the AP’s analysis of census data through 2007, the latest available, doesn’t include the effects of the recession, which hammer renters harder than homeowners. Tough economic times also disproportionately affect minorities and the less educated — both groups are more likely to be financially burdened renters.

“In the next year or so, we’re going to see growing numbers of people who are literally homeless because they can’t afford their own home,” said Sheila Crowley, the president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

The median rent, including utilities, rose 7 percent to $775 between 2000 and 2007. But the increase felt worse because renters saw their median income drop 7 percent to $29,000 during that time."

"...The National Housing Trust Fund created last July to increase the supply of affordable housing remains empty. Funds were supposed to come from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but the government seized control of the companies five weeks later and have so far pumped $85 billion into them to keep them afloat."

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