“21.7 percent of renter households in Providence are severely cost-burdened, while 25.1 percent are moderately burdened…”


In spite of a low unemployment rate and increasing wages, virtually half of American renter households struggle with their housing costs finds a new report from Apartment List.

Apartment List’s latest report breaks down newly released American Community Survey data to identify key trends among the millions of United States households who struggle with housing costs. We found that the share of renters who struggle to afford their housing is on the rise nationwide.

According to the most commonly accepted measure of housing affordability, a household is considered to be “cost-burdened” if housing costs eat up more than 30 percent of household income. By that metric, 49.7 percent of American renter households were cost-burdened in 2018, a slight increase from 2017.

The cost burden rate in Providence increased from 45.2 percent in 2017 to 46.8 percent in 2018. 21.7 percent of renter households in Providence are severely cost-burdened, while 25.1 percent are moderately burdened. Although the rate is increasing, Providence has the 34th lowest cost burden rate of that nation’s 100 largest metros. The number of cost-burdened renter households in Providence has increased by 3,162 since 2008.

The below chart looks at how the cost burden rate in Providence has changed over the past decade:

Nationally, the report shows that nearly one-third of cost-burdened renters live in California, New York or Florida.

[From a press release]