Renters across the US face steep increases – averaging up to 40% in some cities | American News
Rental prices across America have skyrocketed over the past year, with some cities seeing average price increases of up to 40%, leaving many renters stunned and struggling with having to move. to be able to pay rent or pay much more of their income to stay in their homes.
Joshua Beadle of Sarasota, Florida lived in a 950 square foot loft for four years for about $900 a month until about a year ago when the landlord sold the building and he was forced to move.
He found a smaller, more expensive 700 square foot apartment for $1,500 a month. After living there for a year, he recently received a lease renewal letter stating that his monthly rent would be increased to $1,947.
“In one year, my rent has increased by 116%. How can someone who works at gigs and earns the same amount of money afford a price increase of $1,050 a month? said Beadle. “Every month that I pay my rent, I breathe a sigh of relief knowing that I can live another month, but I know that I am in an emergency of not being able to pay living expenses.
According to an analysis conducted by RedFin, rents in the United States jumped 14% in December 2021 to reach $1,877 per month, the highest increase in more than two years.
Some of the hardest-hit cities include Austin, Texas with a 40% increase in rental prices over the previous year, New York with a 35% increase, and several Florida metro areas exceeding more than 30% increase in rental prices.
There are fewer homes available for rent or sale today than at any time in the past 30 years, with worsening supply shortages contributing to rising rental costs, to inflation and making home ownership more inaccessible.
For Beadle, his situation is now untenable.
His rent of $1,500 a month was already difficult for him to pay, and if he is late in paying rent, he incurs a $100 fee. With the latest rent increase of nearly $450, he worries about his future in Sarasota, a community he has lived in and helped build as a promoter and organizer of LGBTQ events over the years. year.
“Now I can’t even afford to live in the community I helped create,” Beadle added. “It’s not OK, there has to be an answer for young single people trying to survive and thrive. We can’t just be able to pay rent for one month more and not know if we’ll have accommodation that month. next.
Although rental prices in the United States initially fell due to the Covid-19 pandemic, prices rebounded in 2021 and increases quickly began to outpace pre-pandemic growth trends. This spike in costs – coupled with a broader surge in inflation – wiped out any wage increases for low-income Americans, as rent prices were already far outpacing wage increases in the United States.
Between 2001 and 2018, renter incomes rose 0.5% while rent prices rose 13%, leaving 20.4 million households, or nearly half of all renters in the United States, burdened with the cost of rent, with more than a third of their income going to rent and utility bills.
A report released by the Roosevelt Institute in November 2021 focused on solutions to this spike in rent prices, including increasing the supply of affordable housing and expanding the rights of tenants who are currently at risk. thank you landlords and property developers with no rent controls or rent stabilization policies in place.
“If we think rent is a really critical part of our inflation problem right now, which it is, then we really need a more holistic approach,” said Dr Lindsay Owens, co- author of the report and member of the Roosevelt. Institute.
Owens opposed the solutions proposed by some economists seeking to rely on restrictive monetary policies such as raising interest rates through the Federal Reserve.
“We are advocating for an aggressive increase in supply and for the federal funding necessary to achieve this,” Owens said. “But because we’re not going to see that happen quickly, and because when you have a shortage of supply, landowners and owners really have a lot of power because you don’t have a lot of options, we think rent control should be on the table to really take advantage of these annual increases.
Without these comprehensive actions, the report notes, landlords, especially in markets where affordable housing shortages give them significant power, will continue to raise rental prices, further burdening tenants’ incomes and increasing their profits without any housing capital improvement.
A week before his wedding in January 2022, Joey Texeira and his partner received a lease renewal from their landlord in New York, with a 30% increase in rent from $750 per month for a one-year lease renewal or a 41% rent increase of $1,050 per month for a two-year lease renewal for an apartment they have lived in since December 2020. Lease renewal would begin May 1.
“We’re very stressed and don’t know exactly what we plan to do yet,” Texeira said.
Her husband was also unexpectedly laid off recently and their downstairs neighbors were recently evicted from the building with a rent increase of $250 to $500 added to their monthly rent.
“It’s criminal,” Texeira said. “Tenants are completely unprotected. The only thing a landlord needs to do is give proper notice commensurate with the percentage increase. Technically, my landlord could have raised my rent by 100% and there was nothing I could have done. Tenants need help and better protections.
Sabrina Marie DeAngelis, a tutor in Austin, Texas, recently saw her rent rise from $920 to $1,440 per month for an apartment she has lived in since 2014, which she initially rented for $675 per month.
She was forced to accept the renewal with a monthly rent increase of $520 because she has a disability that makes moving difficult and has no family living nearby to help her. DeAngelis tried to apply for housing assistance benefits, but she was ineligible for assistance and the Covid-19 housing assistance funds in her area had already run out by the time she applied.
During the pandemic, DeAngelis decided to return to school to complete her master’s degree in hopes of increasing her long-term income, taking a short-term cut in her income to attend school.
“Now I’m forced to increase my work hours while going to school,” DeAngelis said. “My productivity at work and school has been terrible because I’m running out of time. On top of that, almost all of my income is spent on rent and bills.