The rent is too damn high — even for middle-income Americans

Being able to pay for housing — along with the rest of one’s everyday expenses — is a challenge for many Americans. And increasingly, that includes middle-income Americans.

A new report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University calculates that 10.9 million renters spent more than 50% of their income on housing in 2018. That equates to one in four renters. Moreover, there were 6 million more cost-burdened renters in 2018 than in 2001.

Households with incomes of at least $75,000 accounted for more than three-quarters of the growth in renters from 2010 to 2018.

A renter is cost-burdened when she must spend more than 30% of her income on housing costs and severely burdened when they spend more than half of their income on those expenses. The problem is much more predominant among lower-income Americans — 72% of renters earning less than $15,000 a year were severely burdened as of 2018, as were 43% of renters earning between $15,000 and $30,000.

Also see:Many renters don’t know who owns their home — this lawsuit may change that