About the Author
Chad Swiatecki is a 20-year journalist who relocated to Austin from his home state of Michigan in 2008. He most enjoys covering the intersection of arts, business and local/state politics. He has written for Rolling Stone, Spin, New York Daily News, Texas Monthly, Austin American-Statesman and many other regional and national outlets.
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The rent’s too high
According to a recent study from the trade group Apartment List, nearly half of Austin renters qualify as being cost burdened – defined as spending more than 30 percent of their monthly income on housing. Data from 2018 showed 155,225 cost-burdened households in the Austin area, or 49.3 percent, with the percentage figure increasing from 46.5 percent in 2017, the first increase in four years. Nationwide, the Travis County market ranked 49th out of the 100 largest metro areas for percentage of cost-burdened households. The area has 23.3 percent of its renters spending 50 percent or more of their monthly income on housing, with 25.3 percent spending between 30 and 49 percent of their income on rent. Statewide, Houston recorded the same cost-burdened rate as Austin, with San Antonio slightly higher at 50.4 percent and Dallas lower at 47.2 percent.