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A new report reveals that nearly half of all renters in the U.S. now cannot afford what they are paying as President Joe Biden’s administration continues to tout his economic policies.
The report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University found that in 2022, as rents went up during the COVID-19 pandemic, “a record half of U.S. renters paid more than 30% of their income for rent and utilities,” NPR reported, adding that almost have of those renters “were severely cost-burdened, paying more than 50 percent of their income.”
“We actually saw increases across every single income category that we look at, which sort of surprised us,” Whitney Airgood-Obrycki, a senior research associate with the center and the report’s lead author, told the outlet.
Since 2019, the most significant increase in unaffordability was observed among households earning $30,000 to $74,999 annually. Even among those working full-time, one-third of all renters were still burdened by housing costs, the report found.
For renters earning less than $30,000 – who were already experiencing the most acute challenge in affording housing – Airgood-Obrycki “didn’t think it could possibly get that much higher.” However, the report revealed that it did increase, reaching an all-time high of 83% who are burdened by housing costs. She mentions that the amount of money they have remaining for all other household expenses has dropped by nearly half, to just $310 a month, NPR noted, citing the data.
She also said that the compromises that people have to make since Biden took office in order to get cheaper rent are not a guarantee.
“So you might not be living in as good of a neighborhood. You might be commuting farther. You might be sacrificing the quality of your school system,” Airgood-Obrycki said. “And often what we’re seeing is that even when people are attempting to make these trade-offs, they still end up paying too much for housing.”
In addition to higher rents — and inflation in general — during the Biden administration, homelessness also hit a record high last year.
The double-digit rent hikes of the past few years are finally easing, and rents have even come down in some cities that saw the biggest jumps. A record number of apartments are also under construction, and as they come online, tight vacancy rates will loosen.
Still, prices for many people are still higher than before the pandemic, and the building boom is not likely to change that.
“What we are building is at the high end because of the increased cost of construction and because we have a lot of demand from higher-income renters,” Airgood-Obrycki told the outlet, adding that most new apartments over the last decade have gone for $1,400 a month or higher, “and that’s not affordable to the majority of renters.”
For much of Biden’s term, Americans have been paying more for everyday items — food, rent, gas, and mortgages.
Exit polling regarding what voters care most about during Tuesday’s primaries in New Hampshire does not bode well for Biden and the Democratic Party as they attempt to frame the issues heading into November’s elections.
The White House and the Biden campaign are focusing on abortion and scare tactics by claiming former President Donald Trump will “end democracy” if he’s reelected, though there is no evidence for the claim. But according to exit polling done by CBS News during the New Hampshire primaries, the top issues for voters, by far, are the illegal immigration crisis along the country’s southern border and the economy.
“On the issues, the economy and immigration are the top issues for New Hampshire primary voters. These are the same issues that were most important to Iowa GOP caucusgoers,” the outlet reported. “Immigration is a driver, particularly for Trump voters.”
Meanwhile, as reported by The Messenger, the results of CBS’s top-of-mind concerns for primary voters come as Trump has taken a seven-point lead over Biden in a new survey.