The number of U.S. renters burdened by housing costs hit another high last year as rents increased while earnings stayed flat, a new report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University shows.
There were 21.3 million cost-burdened renters in 2014, meaning they paid more than 30 percent of their income on housing. That's up from the previous high of 20.8 million cost-burdened renters in 2013.
What's worse, there were 11.4 million severely cost-burdened renters last year who paid more than 50 percent of their income on housing.
In all, 46 percent of U.S. renters were cost-burdened last year, while 26 percent had severe burdens.
"More families are renting and too many of them are struggling as supply fails to meet demand and stagnant incomes fail to keep up with rising rents," said Julia Stasch, president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which provided funding for the report. "The affordability of rental housing is a critical national issue that deserves more attention and more action from policymakers."
The national homeownership rate continued its downward trend in 2014 as the share of U.S. renter households reached its highest level in 20 years, according to the annual State of the Nation's Housing report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. A record number of U.S. renters are also facing housing cost burdens, the new research showed.
For the 10th straight year, the national homeownership rate dropped in 2014, falling to 64.5 percent. The rate ticked down to an even lower 63.7 percent in the first quarter of 2015.
The number of U.S. owner-occupied households fell for the eighth consecutive year in 2014, dropping by 233,000.
"Perhaps the most telling indicator of the state of the nation's housing is the drop in the homeownership rate to just 64.5 percent last year," the Joint Center for Housing Studies's Managing Director Chris Herbert said in a statement. "This erases nearly all of the increase from the previous two decades. In fact, the number of homeowners fell for the eighth straight year, and the trend does not appear to be abating."
Despite areas of improvement, however, the report found that homeownership rates are still trending downward, low-income households face persistent challenges finding affordable housing and millions of Americans continue to grapple with high housing costs.
housing recovery is gaining traction due in part to an increase in
multi-family housing construction and rising home prices, according to
the annual State of the Nation’s Housing report released Wednesday by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.
areas of improvement, the report found that millions of American homeowners
are still late on mortgage payments or owe more than what their homes
are actually worth, and low-income households face continued challenges
finding affordable housing.
The number of Americans shouldering severe housing cost burdens has also set a new record, according to the report.