27 percent of Tampa Bay area renters pay at least half their income in rent, study says
More than a quarter of the Tampa Bay area’s renters spend at least half of their pre-tax household income on rent and utilities, according to a survey from the renter advocacy campaign Make Room.
That’s a level that’s considered to be a “severe” burden on the 114,342 local renters who are paying it, said Make Room, whose sponsoring partner is the Maryland-based nonprofit Enterprise Community Partners.
The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area’s 27.4 percent of “severely burdened renters” put the region in the No. 6 spot on the list of Florida’s 10 biggest metro areas. The Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach area has the highest percentage at 35.7 percent. Other areas with higher percentages than Tampa Bay are Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach (30.1 percent), Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford (29.7 percent), Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville (28.2 percent) and Cape Coral-Fort Myers (27.5 percent).
Statewide, the rate for all metro renters is 30.5 percent, higher than 26 percent national average for the 42 million renter households in the U.S.
Several factors go into this, Make Room says: Florida’s high rate of population growth, rising land prices and a construction market focused on high-end development.
“Between stagnant wages and the shortage of affordable rental inventory, Floridians pay some of the most unaffordable — and continuously rising — rents in the country,” Make Room managing director Angela Boyd said in a statement released with the statistics. Make Room, along with the Florida Housing Coalition, advocates using $324 million in Florida’s state and local housing trust funds to create more affordable housing.