GAO Report Shows Rental Affordability Declined Since 2001, Particularly for Lowest-Income Households

Friday, June 26, 2020 - 3:30pm

A report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) concluded that rental affordability declined from 2001 to 2017 as the number of renters increased from 34 percent of the population to 36 percent. The percentage of rent-burdened households (those that pay more than 30 percent of their income for rent) was more common among those households with lower incomes. Rental Housing: As More Households Rent, the Poorest Face Affordability and Housing Quality Challenges says that 48 percent of 2017 renters households were rent-burdened, compared to 42 percent in 2001. Seventy-two percent of extremely low-income households paid more than half of their income on rent in 2017. The report also said that an estimated 15 percent of rental units in 2017 had substantial quality issues, a figure that has been relatively stable since 2001.