People renting apartments in the United States are facing the highest financial burden they have ever faced as a result of the economic recession, driving more people out of the housing market and into rentals, according to a new report from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS).
Half of all renters, about 20.6 million people, are spending more than 30 percent of their income on rent. A quarter, 11.3 million, are spending more than 50 percent of their income on rent, forcing them to spend less on food, transportation, entertainment and retirement savings.
“It has never been this bad, we are at record levels,” Chris Herbert, research director at JCHS, told Al Jazeera. “It puts low income people in a real bind. If you don’t have a lot of income to begin with and half of it is going to housing, you don’t have a lot of money left over for anything else.”