Many who seek affordable access to housing or a maintenance-free lifestyle choose to rent. In fact, according to the most recent census data, renters comprise about 36% of all households in the United States. That’s more than 43 million people who come from all walks of life. In recent years, renters have faced a unique set of challenges and setbacks that are making it difficult to keep up. But recent years have demonstrated that renters face a unique set of challenges and setbacks that are making it difficult to pay rent. Let’s explore a couple of the biggest issues and what renters can do to overcome them.
Rising Rent Prices
The cost of renting a home or apartment has risen sharply in some major cities, and there are signs that the upward trend is also impacting communities of all sizes. For example, recent data revealed that Cincinnati, OH, Nashville, TN, and Seattle, WA each experienced increases of 32% in monthly rent prices during the past year. In practical terms, that means that if your current monthly payment is $2000, you would pay $2,640 after renewing your lease – if your landlord followed the reported trend. Where would renters find that extra money? Cutting that much from other areas of a household budget would be painful for most and impossible for some.
If you are renting and have some extra space, a roommate can help defray the effect of the rent increase while reducing your overall housing expenses. Moving to a more affordable apartment nearby is an alternative option but moving costs must be considered. Also, relocating to save money on rent may mean compromising on things like square footage or a manageable commute. Some cities have implemented or are considering financial assistance for people in situations where rising rent costs lead to relocation.
Disappearing Eviction Prevention Measures
Communities and property managers quickly moved renter protections to market as the economic impact of the pandemic led to income loss for some tenants. These eviction moratoriums and special assistance programs kept many of the most vulnerable people housed at a time when they would otherwise have faced certain eviction. Nearly two years later, most of those protections have been removed or altered considerably. Because the eviction moratoriums were unique to individual states and cities, their status differs depending on the location. If you are a renter who benefited from protections that have expired or are about to end, you should find out if there are alternative resources available for assistance. Residents of California experienced the end of statewide protections in July of 2022, which left local governments and nonprofits as the only remaining sources of assistance.
Among the nonprofit resources for people at risk of eviction is rental counseling. A nonprofit financial professional can work directly with renters to help them find solutions and work toward greater financial security. Learn more about nonprofit assistance available to renters.