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Southland renters spend big on on housing: cause and consequence

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A large "rent" banner is posted on the side of an apartment building in June 2012 in San Francisco, California.
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Finding an affordable apartment can be a challenge. The task can be especially difficult in Los Angeles where over 52 percent of residents are renters.

While most financial planners would recommend that an individual spend no more than 30 percent of his or her income on rent a new study released Monday by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University found that more than half of americans living in rentals now spend more than the recommended percentage.  

Twenty-seven percent of renters actually spend more than half of their income on rent.  As people devote more money to rent, they have less disposable income to spend elsewhere, which ends up harming the economy as a whole. Nationally, between 2000 and 2012 rents increased 6 percent while renter’s income fell by 13 percent.

Is there any sign that rental prices will stop increasing?  Are there any proposed solutions to amend the rental cost situation?  How are you dealing with the cost of rent in Southern California?


Chris Herbert, Research Director at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, which has recently released the study

Ben Bergman, KPCC Business Reporter