Demolition's rental squeeze

Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) reported in their annual report on the state of the nation's rental housing that "The nation is losing approximately 200,000 rental housing units each year due to demolition, significantly compounding the ongoing housing affordability squeeze gripping millions of families." This shrinking rental market affects diverse strata of American society, with "20 percent of all renters have median annual incomes that top $60,000 while 20 percent have incomes below $10,000." The 36 page report went on to find:
Median asking rent rose from $734 in 1994 to $974 in 2004. During the same period, monthly renter income barely grew, rising from $2,272 to $2,348. Seventy percent of the nation's 7 million lowest-incomer renters pay more than half of their income for housing. Lack of adequate funding makes it difficult to preserve, let alone expand, the existing stock of subsidized housing inventory. Despite recent weakness in market rents for better quality rentals, overall rents stand at record levels.
The Joint Center for Housing Studies is affiliated with the Harvard Design School and the Kennedy School of Government. JCHS aims "to educate business leaders, government officials, policy makers, and the public on critical and emerging factors affecting housing and our communities."
The Joint Center for Housing Studies is Harvard University's center for information and research on housing in the United States. The Joint Center analyzes the dynamic relationships between housing markets and economic, demographic, and social trends, providing leaders in government, business, and the non-profit sector with the knowledge needed to develop effective policies and strategies.
America's Rental Housing: Homes for a Diverse Nation
(available in pdf, 5MB, from JCHS)



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