homes and apartments as the city experiences a decline in the number of units. (WTTW News)” height=”1026″ src=”https://news.wttw.com/sites/default/files/styles/full/public/field/image/HousingForRentSign_C2N_0.jpg?itok=gH3rsAk8″ title=”Renters are finding fewer affordable homes and apartments as the city experiences a decline in the number of units. (WTTW News)” width=”1824″/>
Renters are finding fewer affordable homes and apartments as the city experiences a decline in the number of units.
A new study from DePaul University shows that the city experienced a 5.2% drop when comparing the average affordable units from 2012 to 2014 to those from 2017 to 2019.
This drop particularly affected the northern and northwestern neighborhoods. The Logan Square and Avondale neighborhoods lost 14.4% of their affordable housing stock. Portage Park and Jefferson Park were down 12.3%. Lincoln Square, North Center, West Town and the Near West Side all registered an 11.3% drop.
And the share of low-income tenants facing housing insecurity has increased.
“There is less and less affordable rental housing,” said Geoff Smith, executive director of the Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University. “This means low-income renters struggle to find affordable rental housing, which means they have to either move to neighborhoods where there is more affordable housing or stay put and pay more. of their income for housing costs. ”
José Muñoz, Executive Director of La Casa Nord, said gentrification is one of the main contributors to housing loss for people.
“Developers buy properties, renovate them and then make them less affordable for individuals,” Muñoz said. “At the same time, we haven’t seen increases in wages, jobs, growth, enough to the point where people are able to increase their incomes to be able to continue paying for their housing.”
One of the factors examined by the study was the “affordability gap”. Smith described it as the mismatch between the number of low-income tenants who need affordable rental housing and the supply of affordable rental housing that would be available to those tenants at 30% of their monthly income.
The city can help close that gap and help low-income tenants by continuing rent assistance programs that help tenants with emergencies with rent, Muñoz said.
Note: This story will be updated with a video.