America’s Rental Housing: the Key to a Balanced National Policy

Source: Harvard University Joint Center for Housing, April 30, 2008

From the press release:
The report entitled “America’s Rental Housing: The Key to a Balanced National Policy” examines recent mortgage market events in the context of long-standing affordability problems that plague millions of renters. Fueled by record foreclosures and sluggish home sales, the share of households owning a home is declining, while the number of renter households jumped by nearly one million last year, or more than four times the pace of renter growth over the 2003 to 2006 period. Despite the growing signs of economic weakness, monthly rents last year reached a record high of $775.

The report also observes that rising foreclosures and the resulting turmoil in credit markets raises the costs of financing rental housing construction and preservation. Last year, completions of multifamily units for rent fell to 169,000 units – just two thirds of the 2002 figure and only one-third of the 1986 record high. The blighting influence of vacant and foreclosed properties also will accelerate the abandonment of low-cost rental properties in distressed neighborhoods, further limiting the supply of affordable housing.
See also:
Fact Sheet
Written Summary
PowerPoint Presentation
William C. Apgar
Senior Scholar, Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies (1.9MB)
Recording of April 30, 2008 Release
audio recording includes:
Opening Remarks
PowerPoint Presentation
Panel Discussion
Question & Answer
Urban Land Institute

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