There are growing signs the rent is too damn high in Rochester.
A previous post reported that more than half of Rochester’s renters pay more than 30 percent of their income on housing. That’s considered burdened. Nearly a third of renters are paying more than half their incomes on housing. That’s considered severely burdened.
There are several recent reports showing affordable rental housing is an issue here.
Rents On Way Up
The Buffalo News reported rents in Rochester have risen 7.2 percent in the last three years, to an average rent of $1,154.57. That’s about twice the rate of inflation. This is troubling because many renters have not seen wages grow that much in the last few years. Meantime, the median home price is up only 3.3 percent since 2012.
The Buffalo News speculates rising rents, which are happening across Upstate, are the result of a stabilizing population and new jobs. Many Millennials and empty-nesters do not want to own homes, preferring the flexibility of renting. Many younger people cannot afford to own a home, especially amid tighter lending restrictions.
The Poor Hard Hit
The Urban Institute came out with a study showing there are not enough housing units for extremely low-income households. These are households of four earning no more than $20,000.
The UI found there are only 22 “affordable, adequate and available” apartments for every 100 extremely low-income household. There are more than 35,000 such households in Monroe County. This data includes federal housing subsidies.
Fewer Owning Homes
The fact sheet also shows a vacancy rate of 8.2 percent for all units. It’s interesting rents are on the way up with so many vacancies. The question is where are these vacant units. They are not in places in demand, apparently.
Another interesting thing about the fact sheet: The largest category of renters are people 35 to 44 years old.
In conclusion, there seems to be a shift in the local housing market, with more people renting. There also appears to be a shortage of desirable apartments.
Graphic of Day:
Links of the Day:
– The owners of Victoire and Murphy’s Law plan to convert Irondequoit library into a restaurant.
– What a life: William B. Konar, Holocaust survivor, successful and generous, dies at 85.
– Why South Carolina’s Confederate flag isn’t at half-mast after church shooting (and why they have one at all).