Renters on Bottom Rung of Rental Ladder Risk Falling Into Homelessness if Rents Increase Even Slightly
Communities where people spend more than 32 percent of their income on rent can expect a more rapid increase in homelessness. This trend is according to new Zillow-sponsored research on the size and root causes of the nation’s homelessness challenge.
The research also estimates that the scale of homelessness nationwide has been under-counted by roughly 115,000 people, or 20 percent.
This research demonstrates that the homeless population climbs faster when rent affordability – the share of income people spent on rent – crosses certain thresholds. In many areas beyond those thresholds, even modest rent increases can push thousands more Americans into homelessness.
Income growth has not kept pace with rents, leading to an affordability crunch with cascading effects that, for people on the bottom economic rung, increases the risk of homelessness.
On December 11, 2018, Zillow hosted a roundtable discussion in Washington D.C. that focused on this research. You can watch a replay of the roundtable discussion here.
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