LA Rents Highest in Nation

Los Angeles Daily News

                                            Posted:                                         07/20/13, 9:00 PM PDT|

By Christina Sturgis

Residents in the Los Angeles area are paying some of the highest rents in the nation and it’s pushing some toward homelessness, according to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Renters in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, which includes Long Beach and Santa Ana, pay $1,214 per month, the fifth highest median gross rent in the nation. The census bureau describes renters paying 35 percent or more of income in rent as burdened, and this proportion is used to determine eligibility for federal housing programs. The percentage of households burdened by high rents rose from 47.27 to 50.69 from 2009 to 2011, according to the census.

The United Way of Greater Los Angeles states that many of these households are living one crisis away from the brink of homelessness.

The highest rent nationwide was also in California – $1,460 in the San Jose metropolitan area. The area includes Sunnyvale and Santa Clara and is among the 50 most populated metropolitan areas. Honolulu came in second with $1,419.

The gross median rent nationwide decreased slightly, from $880 to $871, during the surveys conducted in 2009 and again in 2011, according to the data.

The gross median rent declined during the survey period in O-Town, which includes Kissimmee, going from $1,038 in 2009 to $970 in 2011, a decrease of 68 dollars. The sharpest drop in gross median rent was $130 in Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev., from $1,038 to $970. The lowest median gross rents nationwide were in the Buffalo-Niagara Falls and Pittsburgh areas, $682 in both.

When all the metropolitan areas were considered and not just the 50 largest, the lowest gross median rents were $502 in the Wheeling, W.Va., and Ohio area, and $536 in the Johnstown, Pa., area.

Gross rent was defined in the Rental Housing Market Condition Measures report as the amount of rent plus the estimated monthly cost of utilities. The report compared rents in U.S. metropolitan areas from 2009 to 2011.

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