Economy
3:33 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Rental market becomes out of reach for many Michiganders

Over the past few years, renting a home has become more popular than owning one. However, according to a recent Harvard study, rent is quickly becoming unaffordable for most Americans.

The share of renters paying more than 30 percent of income for housing, the traditional measure of affordability, rose 12 percentage points over the decade, reaching 50 percent in 2010. Much of the increase was among renters facing severe burdens (paying more than half of income for rent).

In states like Michigan, the effect is especially damaging, with more than 50 percent of renters facing these cost burdens. A combination of declining income and increasing rent prices cause Michiganders to be spread too thin monetarily, struggling to work enough hours to make enough rent money, and having little spending money left over in the aftermath.

In a study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition from 2012, researchers examined the out-of-reach rental crisis by county, metropolitan area, and statewide. Below is some of the data from Michigan Metropolitan areas.

By comparing the prices of two-bedroom rent to the rent affordable at 30% of the area's median income,  rental costs soar well out of reach.

– Paige Pfleger, Michigan Radio Newsroom