Affordability for Renters Worsens ‘Across Board’ in Philadelphia Area

Affordability for Renters Worsens ‘Across Board’ in Philadelphia Area
January 23, 2013

While housing affordability challenges were greatest for extremely low-income (ELI) renters, affordability indicators worsened across the board for renters in the Third Federal Reserve District between 2005 and 2010, according to a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s Community Development Studies Education Department.

“Affordability and Availability of Rental Housing in the Third Federal Reserve District: 2012” was released in the inaugural issue of Cascade Focus, a new publication that summarizes the department’s research on issues related to community development in low- and moderate-income communities and access to credit in underserved markets.

The department’s earlier rental housing studies, which are not directly comparable to this report, analyzed data through 2007 for Pennsylvania. This new study looks at data from 2005 through 2010 on rental housing throughout the Third Federal Reserve District, which includes eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware.

The study concludes:

  • There was a shortage of roughly 266,000 rental units affordable and available to ELI renter households in the Third Federal Reserve District in 2010.
  • The number of affordable and available rental units for every 100 ELI renter households in the Third District fell from 40 in 2005 to 34 in 2010.
  • In 2010, nearly three in four ELI renter households in the Third District spent more than half of their income on gross rent (including utilities) and thus were severely burdened by their housing costs.
  • Although housing cost burden levels were highest for ELI renters overall, increases were greatest for very low- and low-income renters between 2005 and 2010.

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Internet Info

Affordability and Availability of Rental Housing in the Third Federal Reserve District: 2012,” Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia: http://www.philadelphiafed.org/community-development/publications/cascade-focus/affordability-and-availability-of-rental-housing-in-third-district/