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Money Woes Worsen for Renters in Missouri

Photo: Costs are increasing for renters in Maryland. Photo credit: Microsoft Images
Photo: Costs are increasing for renters in Maryland. Photo credit: Microsoft Images
May 10, 2013

ST. LOUIS – Just because you have a job doesn't mean you can pay the rent in Missouri.

A new report from the nonprofit Center for Housing Policy, shows 18 percent of Missouri renters are spending more than half their income on housing.

Report co-author Maya Brennan says that's the highest it's been since 2008.

"These households are working,” she says, “and they're still unable not just to afford housing, but come even close to affording it."

Brennan says declining incomes and federal cuts to housing assistance programs have made the problem worse.

She adds that people who spend more than half their income on housing, often face very tough choices about what else they can afford.

"That's a status that's puts you at risk of not being able to afford food, afford health care,” she says, “truly basic necessities."

Brennan also says communities too often limit rental housing because of concerns that it will drive down property values.

"It's important to make sure that communities are allowing housing of different sizes and different types to be built,” she says, “because if we don't, we're restricting the stock, and pushing the rents up."

The report says nationally, working renters saw their housing costs rise by 6 percent from 2008 to 2011, while their household incomes fell more than 3 percent.

The cost of housing also remains high for homeowners, but they didn't see the same recent jump experienced by renters.




Mary Anne Meyers, Public News Service - MO