More Rental Housing a Boost to the Economy? Can it Be?

The Boston Globe reports Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies notes the rate of home ownership in the U.S. fell below 67 percent for the first time since 1998.  The report says this results in the demand for rental housing to increase, driving up rents, which housing advocates say makes it more difficult for lower income families to find suitable housing.  “Incomes are not growing at all and rents are growing rapidly,” said Megan Decrappeo, a research analyst for the nonprofit National Low Income Housing Coalition in Washington, D.C.  “There’s a big gap now for what’s available and affordable for low-income renters.”  Another researcher suggested the shift may signal an increase in multifamily home construction, which could be a boost to the housing economy.

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