Vacancy rates, rent costs & homelessness

Cities with higher rents also have higher rates of homelessness. Rents drop when there are enough homes to go around. Building enough homes is a piece of this dynamic too.

A recent UCLA study found that higher median rent correlated with more people living in shelters and on the streets. Cities that are building enough, like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, are seeing rent prices fall as landlords must compete with newer housing stock to avoid having their apartments go vacant.

Cities around the world are finding that building enough homes is a crucial piece of solving the affordability problem. This doesn’t diminish the need for subsidized housing, supportive services, tenant protections, anti-displacement policies, and solving other root causes of homelessness. All of these essential policies fall far short of providing affordable housing to everyone who needs it if the underlying housing shortage is left unaddressed.

More reading

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