By Jessica Anderson and Natalie Sherman
Originally Published by The Baltimore Sun
Photo: Baltimore Heritage, Flickr
Stagnant wages and rising rents have created a “double crisis” in Baltimore, where more than half of the city’s renters live in housing considered unaffordable, a new report says.
Many of the families struggling to pay rent are poor, but costs also have increased sharply for a growing number of working- and middle-class renters, according to the report for the Abell Foundation, which looked at data from the American Community Survey and American Housing Survey.
Nearly 30 percent of Baltimore’s renter families earning between $40,000 and $75,000 a year spend more than 30 percent of their income for housing, considered the standard for affordability. That’s up from about 7 percent in 1998 and 11 percent in 2007, according to the report.
“There is this emergent trend within the midmarket, where they can live,” said the report’s author, Phil M.E. Garboden, a Johns Hopkins University graduate student. “Those families are becoming increasingly burdened.”
Middle-income households remain a small part of the rental market in Baltimore, where more than a third of renter families live below the poverty line, yet more and more people are being priced out of affordable housing.