SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- New research is showing that across the nation renting an apartment has become unaffordable for many. 22News looks at why the demand for rental housing has increased and how some people in Western Mass. are dealing with the cost.
“It’s hard but with the Grace of God, I’m making it through.” Milly Carbello rents an apartment in Chicopee after loosing her house 4 years ago. “My husband did loose his job and it was only my income coming in so it was hard for us.”
Like Carballo, the foreclosure crisis forced millions of Americans to switch to renting according to a recent Harvard study.
That added demand has meant rental prices have risen 20 percent but income has fallen 14 percent in the last 6 years.
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics about 50 percent of people in Springfield own a home. For the rest of the people the option to rent comes with the average price tag of about $700 to $900 a month for a two bedroom apartment.
Housing experts told 22News that rent in Springfield has stayed level in recent years, because so many vacant apartments make it tough to push up prices.
But with the average income for people in Springfield at about 35 thousand dollars…. it means many are spending much more than the recommended one-third of you monthly income on rent. Jacqueline Heredia, from Springfield, said she spends nearly 50 percent of her monthly income on rent. “Especially nowadays minimum wage is not even enough to pay partial of your rent. It’s really hard. It’s a big struggle,” Heredia said.
Housing experts from Sear’s Real Estate in Springfield said they have seen a drop in first time renters in the Springfield area as more new grads are going back home to live with their parents to try and save on living expenses.