The question of rent: the emerging urban housing crisis in the new century


The emergence of a new housing crisis in the United States for low‐income renter households at the outset of the twenty‐first century can be traced to an increasing lack of affordability, where the average cost of housing as a portion of income has risen steadily over the last half‐century. In turn, this rise in housing costs can be attributed to a growing and dramatic shortage of low‐cost rental housing. Ultimately, the evocation of homeownership as the embodiment of the ‘American Dream’ has made renting the ‘stepchild’ of housing options, and this has had hidden, but nonetheless deleterious effects upon US cities, which remain major concentrations of rental housing and financially‐strapped tenants.