United States

Renters of color at forefront of affordability crisis

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Black couple reviewing important documents

Recent data from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies shows that a record 50% of renter households are paying unaffordable rents in relation to their income – and Black, Hispanic and multiracial households are being hit hardest.

While overall cost-burden rates (the share of households spending more than 30% of their income on rent) were high, certain demographic groups bore a heavier burden. More than half of Black, Hispanic, and multiracial households were cost-burdened in 2022, with over half of eviction filings befalling Black renters.

Long-standing discrimination in housing, employment, and education have left renters of color disproportionately vulnerable to housing insecurity and eviction.

While the Fair Housing Act of 1968 provides a legal framework within which to fix this, the direct responsibility for creating an equitable housing environment rests largely with property managers and owners.

Combating systemic racism begins with enforcing fair housing compliance and non-discriminatory tenant screening.

Tenant advocates also propose that housing providers offer tenants greater opportunities to fight eviction, including the right to counsel and alternative preventive mediation programs that take place outside the courtroom.

Property managers can be catalysts for change, helping rectify historical disparities and fostering a fair, accessible, and supportive housing market for all.

More housing policy headlines

Black leaders in housing – making history today – National Housing ConferenceCould PropTech save real estate from an unequal past? – PayProp

The fight for “good cause” housing laws to prevent renter evictions – Vox

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