Americans Speak on Housing Burdens When It Comes to Renting

Rising housing prices make it difficult for citizens to own a house. (Used clipping mask)

(VitalNews.org) – American renters have spoken out about the cost of housing and how it affects them, as conducted by a Harvard study.

The Harvard study gave many Americans the chance to speak on their situation of how rent and housing prices are affecting their daily lives. A 65-year-old resident of Oklahoma, Marianne Smith, spoke out saying that a medical emergency left her in a hard financial situation. “I eat or I pay my bills,” she said. “Had I not had family and friends that could afford to just put money in my bank account, I’d be on the streets.”

Since she is on disability and cannot work due to multiple health conditions, Smith relies on a monthly social security check of $1,844. She spoke about her current rent, which costs her $660 per month, but she states that rent goes up every single year.

Rent prices are putting households in a tight financial situation, according to Sarah Saadian, who works at the National Low Income Housing Coalition as the Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Field Organizing.

Saadian stated, “When you’re devoting so much of your very limited income toward housing, it means that any sort of financial hiccup – your car breaks down, your kid is sick and you miss a day of work – that very easily can spiral out of control.”

Harvard’s study showed that rent reached a historic high and that more families are becoming “cost-burdened households,” which are households whose cost of rent and utilities exceed 30% of their income. The study also showed that of the 22.4 million people who are cost-burdened, over half of them spend 50% or more on their rent and utilities.

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