Housing Costs Become an Increasing Burden For Houston Renters

A Harvard analysis shows the rental market is trending toward upper income tenants

Nearly half of Houston renters are burdened by their housing costs.

Houston renters have an average income of $40,000 a year. Their monthly rent averages $1,005.

That's more than 30 percent of their income going to housing.

Jon Spader is one of the researchers who conducted the 2017 rental housing report by Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies.

"Forty-seven percent of all renter households in Greater Houston were cost-burdened, paying more than 30 percent of their income for housing costs," he said. "Twenty-five percent were severely cost-burdened, paying more than 50 percent of their income for housing costs."

That's in line with metropolitan areas across the nation, according to the report.

All income levels up to $75,000 are feeling this burden, but in Houston especially it's lower income households that are most affected.

"It could reflect less access to rental assistance," Spader said. "It could also reflect slightly higher rental housing cost from being in a large metro."

The report finds while younger, lower-income residents still make up the majority of renters, the number of higher-income renters is growing fast nationwide.

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Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of Real Estate Editors, and Public Radio...

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