Alabama rent-to-income rates rank high nationally

For the first time the United States is rent burdened nationwide. In Alabama, rent burdening has steadily increased for three years straight, leaving us at an all time high.
Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 6:19 PM CST
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Shelter is such a necessity, from having a roof over your head to having a bed to crawl into each night. However, that has become harder for Alabamians to afford.

Dr. Michael C. Threatt, the Senior Vice President and COO of the Dothan Housing Authority, explained the effect that high rates have on low income renters.

“When you think about cost of living, you think about landlords and real estate investors and developers in general wanting to increase their rent amount, that makes it challenging for individuals that are trying to be served by the affordable housing, whether that be a Section 8 voucher or someone just renting in general,” said Threatt.

According to Moody’s Analytics, an organization that analyzes commercial real estate data, Alabama’s rent-to-income ratio has increased 4.2% over the last three years. That ties the state for the third highest increase in rent burdening nationwide.

“Rent burdened” refers to when a renter spends more than 30% of their income on housing.

Threatt explained, “You have some individuals in our area that are underemployed, so they may have to have two jobs or four part-time jobs to afford that amount of rent.”

Right now, the average cost for a one bedroom apartment in Dothan is around $895, meaning a renter making $10 an hour would have around $800 left monthly for expenses such as food, clothing, and other needs and wants.

Dothan Housing is taking action to provide more affordable housing in the Wiregrass, you can find out more about that by reading the story linked below.

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