Multifamily Housing Supply Unfavorable to Lower-Income Renters

Lower-income households that are looking for affordable multifamily rental housing are faced with significant challenges. With little new stock affordable to them, many lower-income households are renting apartments that are beyond their financial means, leaving them less money for food, healthcare, transportation to work, and other necessities.

If changes to the stock of multifamily housing in the U.S., broken down by tenure, affordability, and assisted rental housing status. The results show that lower-income renters have lost ground recently. The average monthly rent of a unit lost from stock was $600 while the average monthly rent of a unit added was $1,000. In addition, while the number of units lost has decreased, lower-income renters experienced a disproportionate amount of those lost units, and that units added were affordable to higher-income renters. Only one-quarter of the units added (approximately 38,000 annually) were affordable to Very Low Income renters, further highlighting renter affordability challenges.

The results of this analysis show that both units added to and units lost from the multifamily housing stock experienced a slowdown between 2005 and 2013. In both cases, lower-income renters lost ground. Most of the multifamily rental stock lost was affordable to lower-income renters, with a median monthly rent of $600 in 2011 for these lost units compared with a $750 median rent for units remaining in the stock. By contrast, little of the new stock added was affordable to lower-income renters, with a median rent of $1,000 in 2013 for these new units compared with a median rent of $780 for units remaining in the stock. These trends show the challenge facing lower-income households that are looking for affordable multifamily rental housing.

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