Low-Income Renters Squeezed By High Rents and Subpar Housing

NPR Report Highlights Affordable Homes Crisis

On March, 30, 2016, National Public Radio Pam Fessler highlighted the issues faced by very low-income renters in Washington, D.C., “Low-Income Renters Squeezed Between Too-High Rents And Subpar Housing.”

Fessler highlights the growing low-income housing crisis not just in DC but across America because.

“According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard, the number of low-cost rental units grew only 10 percent over the past decade, while the number of low-income renters grew 40 percent.”

She interviewed low-income renters in their apartments and chronicled their struggles with sub-par housing and landlords who do not address heating and safety issues in their homes.

“The lack of affordable housing is forcing low-income renters to choose between apartments they can’t afford or those that aren’t in the best shape.”

“Thinks one answer is more government subsidies for low-income housing.”

Said DC area landlord Art Nalls.

Pamela Glover, a low-income renter interviewed for the story:

“Was recently in landlord tenant court with some neighbors who were being sued for not paying their rent. Glover says she has water leaks, mold and a constantly beeping fire alarm. She admits $815 a month for a two-bedroom apartment is a bargain, but she still wants to live in a place that is comfortable and safe.”

Glover lives off her disability payments and does not have any other options to afford renting a home.

“We don’t even have security around here no more. They shoot around here like it’s a job.”

Glover says.

“Neither does Walker, who doesn’t make much above minimum wage. Anything more than $800 a month is out of her league, Walker says. But anything under $800 is pretty much what she already has.”

Terrell lives in a DC apartment with her 2 year-old and 9 year-old daughters. The photos that show the mold and heating problems in her apartment are appalling.

NPR Story by Pam Fessler