Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) published their bi-annual report on the state of America’s rental housing on January 21. America’s Rental Housing 2022 provides an overview of our nation’s rental housing – with particular focus on the implications of pandemic disruptions – and explores:
Rental Households and Renter Demographics
This section of the report delves into the continued household growth throughout 2021 and the makeup of these renter households. Key takeaways focus on age and the formation of households and household income and housing choice available at varying income levels.
The State of the Nation’s Rental Stock
Although the report cites that much of the recent growth in apartment stock came from the construction of large multifamily buildings, our nation is still facing a supply challenge. Aging rental stock and barriers to build in certain communities are two factors cited within this section of the report that posed a challenge to meeting current demand.
Rental Market Disruptions
The COVID-19 pandemic caused disruptions in high-cost urban markets nationwide. This section of the report examines where urban markets – and other formerly depressed markets – stand after demand bounced back, the rapid rent escalation seen in 2021, and how barriers to homeownership impacted demand. It also looks at the recent uptick in multifamily construction, which continued a “seven-year stretch of strong multifamily production.”
Rental Housing Affordability
The past several iterations of this report have examined our nation’s ongoing rental affordability challenges. This section of the report examines the worsening of this years-long crisis and the pandemic’s impact.
Current and Potential Housing Challenges
This section of the report examines challenges presented throughout 2021 and the measures deployed to mitigate said challenges. Specifically, the report looks at the impact emergency financial assistance (like unemployment and rental assistance) had on supporting eviction mitigation efforts. In addition, this section of the report identifies homelessness, climate change, state and local regulatory hurdles and the lack of federal subsidies as other challenges that must be overcome.