Housing is unaffordable for over half of renters
The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University has found that over half of renters in the United States are cost burdened. Typically for an apartment to be viable for a tenant, rent should be less than 30 % of their income.
Other issues identified in the study were that:
Number of low income units has gone down
Increase in rent is outpacing increase in wages
Record number of people are experiencing homelessness
Rental stock is aging
Need for Eviction Prevention is growing
A reporter from National Public Radio interviewed an individual who is impacted by the lack of affordable housing. Genuine Campbell noted how often the choice is between which bills to pay, “Do you want to pay the bills and then give half the rent, or do you want to try to do the whole rent and then be back on bills? It's so hard. It's so hard.” She went on to discuss how wages are simply not keeping up with the cost of rent.
For Family Promise of Waukesha County this is not new information. It does affirm what we are seeing every day. It is a stark reminder that the number one cause of homelessness is not mental health or addiction issues. It is that the cost of housing is out of reach for many.