Housing market is bad for poor people and getting worse

In a piece for the Washington Post wntitled In expensive cities, rents fall for the rich — but rise for the poor, Jeff Stein writes:

U.S. cities struggling with soaring housing costs have found some success in lowering rents this year, but that relief has not reached the renters most at risk of losing their housing. *  * * Since last summer, rents have fallen for the highest earners while increasing for the poorest in San Francisco, Atlanta, Nashville, Chicago, Philadelphia, Denver, Pittsburgh, Portland and Washington, D.C., among other cities. In several other metro areas — including Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Houston and Miami — rents have risen for the poor and the rich alike. * * * In San Francisco, the average rent at the bottom of the market has soared from $1,700 to $2,600, a nearly 50 percent increase. Seattle’s poor have also had their rents rise by close to 40 percent. Nationwide, since 2011,] rents for those at the bottom have increased by 18 percent. Rising rents for the poor threaten to add to the nation’s homeless population, and put an additional severe strain on tens of millions of families, often forcing them to forgo other basic needs to avoid losing their housing.

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