Even though the housing market is rebounding in many areas of the U.S., owning a home is no longer the typical American dream. Rising housing costs and individuals who cannot afford their mortgages have led many Americans to re-discover the joys and value of renting apartment homes.
One growing segment of the population seeking affordable housing is what some refer to as the “working poor”. This group includes college students and those with minimum wage jobs, who live paycheck to paycheck. “A common living situation today is a group of friends or family members sharing one apartment or house in order to afford the rent,” said Lori Trainer, vice president of public relations for Southern Affordable Services and Concord Management. These are usually temporary living arrangements, and – once individuals go out on their own – they are seeking affordable, quality housing.
It is not always easy to qualify for the various types of affordable housing, though. “Unfortunately, two or three minimum wage workers living together cannot typically quality for low income housing. In addition, many times schoolteachers and firefighters also do not qualify.” said Lori Trainer, vice president of public relations for Southern Affordable Services and Concord Management.
Plus, it is not just low income earners who are having trouble making ends meet. The largest increase of cost-burdened renters between 2001 and 2011 were people who earned between $30,000 and $44,999 annually, an 11 percent spike, according to a recent report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. Those with incomes between $45,000 and $74,999 were the second largest group of cost-burdened renters, realizing a 9 percent increase in burdens.
Bad debt and evictions are also on the rise, studies show. All of these economic factors are leading to a shortage in affordable housing. While many management companies have built more affordable housing properties over the last few years, they simply cannot keep up with the demand. Plus, a number of tax credit apartment communities nationwide are finishing up their 15-year commitment and are converting to conventional rental properties.
If you are a low-income or even moderate income individual in some of the situations mentioned above, where can you find affordable housing? Most everyone searches the web first. They know that apartment and residence-locating services like ApartmentSearch.com will save them the most time and money. In fact, ApartmentSearch.com rewards those who find a home through its service with $200. That reward provides a helpful start to many individuals and families.
Since ApartmentSearch.com’s housing experts are knowledgeable about each city, its associates and online tools can also help individuals find the right apartment community or housing for their income level, desired location, and family needs.
The multifamily housing industry has also stepped up its efforts to help low to mid-income individuals who are seeking affordable housing. For example, Southern Affordable Services, a non-profit organization, works with management companies to find affordable housing for families who are homeless due to no fault of their own. In some cases, apartment communities offer credit forgiveness, or waive the tenant’s application fee and deposit.
It is the dream of many Americans to have their own place to live. When challenges abound, a variety of services can help those dreams become realized. For many, the new American Dream, is an affordable rental apartment that they can call home.