Monday, March 6, 2017

Over Half of RI Renters Struggle as Rents Continue Historic Rise

Rental costs are at an all-time high and are likely to continue rising according to RIHousing’s recently released annual Rent Survey.

The study found that average rent prices in Rhode Island increased from 2015 levels for studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom apartments. These rents are the highest reported since RIHousing began conducting its Rent Survey in 2002.

Apartment Type
Average Rent Price (2015)
Percentage Increase/Decrease

“Rhode Island is facing a serious housing shortage at almost every income level,” said Barbara Fields, RIHousing’s Executive Director. “There is simply not enough housing stock to meet demand, which means that working families will continue to be burdened by increasing rents.”

While rent prices continue to rise, the median household income for renter-occupied households is stagnant. Due to the disparity between income and housing costs, 51% of Rhode Island renters now pay more than 30% of income for rent (meaning they are housing cost burdened). A household earning $42,000 annually would need to spend no more than $773 per month on housing in order to avoid being considered cost burdened. According to RIHousing’s Rent Survey database, just 12% of rental options listed in 2016 were affordable for renters at or below the median household income for the typical renter.

“This study reinforces what we at RIHousing already know: Rhode Island needs to continue investing in housing,” said Fields. “The passage of the $50 million Housing Bond is a great start in addressing our state’s housing shortage, but we must continue to do more.”