The federal government’s housing affordability crisis is getting worse for renters in America’s cities and suburbs.
The problem is getting much worse, according to a new report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
The group analyzed rent data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and found that rent costs for renter-owned and owner-occupied properties in the United States rose for the first time in the first half of 2017, to $3,200 a month, up 6.7 percent from the same period in 2016.
That compares to $2,800 in the second half of last year, which was still well below the $3.25 million average rent cost that the group says is necessary to pay for a two-bedroom apartment.
That means that the cost of renting a two bedroom apartment has climbed nearly 7 percent over the last year.
The NLIHC also found that in San Diego, rents have gone up nearly 5 percent since 2016, and are up more than 12 percent in Portland, Oregon, and nearly 11 percent in Dallas.
While those cities have lower rent prices than San Francisco, the average monthly rent is still higher than the average cost of a comparable-sized rental unit in the rest of the country.
The median price of a two bed in San Francisco is $1,988, while the median price for a one bed is $876, according the report.
In Dallas, a twobed in a one-bedroom unit costs $2.2 million, and the median is $2 million.
The cost of living in Los Angeles is also significantly higher than in other major cities.
In the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the median household income is $70,722, and rents are more than double the national average.
Renters are also paying more than twice the cost for utilities, gas, phone service and cable television.
“The cost of rent for renters is growing faster than the cost they’re paying for utilities and utilities are not going up,” NLIHHC president and CEO Sarah G. Stegeman told The American Conservatives.
The report also found rent increases for owners-occupied buildings increased 8.3 percent, while those for renters went up 8.5 percent.
That’s a stark contrast from a year ago, when renters in the two most expensive cities, Los Angeles and Dallas, saw increases of just 3.1 percent and 6.1 million, respectively.
Rent is one of the largest cost drivers of the housing crisis, and it’s clear that it’s not going away anytime soon.
“We are not living in a sustainable period for rent affordability,” Stegemann said.
“For renters, it is critical that they have the flexibility to live with the same level of security as their families and their communities.
We need to get back to where renters are enjoying a decent quality of life.”
Stegmann said that as the housing market continues to deteriorate, many landlords are looking for ways to increase rents.
“In addition to higher rents, many owners are finding they have no choice but to turn to illegal tactics to increase the cost,” she said.
The federal agency has also seen a surge in cases of foreclosures, and foreclosing has become a common practice in some parts of the nation.
The number of foreclosed properties has surged from 1.7 million in 2015 to 3.9 million in 2017, according a new analysis by the NLIHB.
“With forecloses now a common tactic, it’s becoming harder for renters to find affordable housing and homeowners to afford repairs, repairs that will keep the quality of their lives up,” the report says.