Living in a major American city is the Catch-22 to end all Catch-22s. You have to move there to get a job. Your job barely pays your insanely high rent. Your rent is high because your city has all the jobs. It’s an unbreakable, unending, vicious cycle of bullshit that preys on the middle class because they can, and fuck you, that’s why.
For rent and utilities to be considered “affordable,” they must take up no more than 30% of a household’s income. Unfortunately, that standard seems to have become a thing of the past. According to an analysis by Zillow, the median rent (sans utilities) is over 30% of the gross household income in 90 cities. NINETY. Nine-Zero. And it’s not just your typical high-rent cities, either, though trust me, it sucks to live in one of those as well.
Just take a look at this handy-dandy chart:
In order to live in Los Angeles, the rent-gouging capital of the world, you may have to pay, on average, almost 50% of your income in rent. However, if you take a look at their historical rent percentage, people are only spending 35.6% more on rent than the historical average.
If you take a look at New York, on the other hand, rents have deviated a whopping 67.2% from the historical average. This can probably be attested to skyrocketing rents in new “hot” neighborhoods like Bushwick, Williamsburg and Bedford-Stuyvesant, areas which were once considered to be “bad neighborhoods” now have higher rents than hot areas in Manhattan. Thanks a lot, Lena Dunham.
According to a Harvard study, nationally, half of all renters are spending over 30% of their income on rent, up from 38% of renters in 2000. According to Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan, this is “the worst rental affordability crisis that this country has ever known.”
Add to that your student loans, credit card bills, cell phone payments and various other debts, and you can kiss that pontoon boat of your dreams goodbye.
[via New York Times]