New Fed Report on Affordability and Availability of Rental Housing in Pennsylvania


Glenside, PA – January 12, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — This past December, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia published a new study on rental housing in Pennsylvania. The study provides an in-depth analysis of the housing needs of Pennsylvania’s lower-income renter households and explores how these needs vary across the state. The study looks at the incidence of housing problems among low-income renters at both the beginning and the middle of this decade. 

Some key findings include:

  • Approximately 29 percent of the state’s households are renter households.
  • One of Pennsylvania’s key rental housing challenges is the age of its rental housing stock. Over two-fifths of rental housing units in Pennsylvania were built before 1950, compared with 24 percent in the nation as a whole. Older rental housing is found throughout the state in both rural and urban areas.
  • In 2000, nearly two-thirds of renter households in Pennsylvania had incomes below 80 percent of area median income (AMI). Nearly one-quarter of renter households in Pennsylvania were extremely low income (ELI).
  • In 2000, every county in the state had insufficient numbers of affordable and available rental units for ELI renter households.
  • Between 2000 and 2005-06, the state’s total shortage of affordable and available housing for extremely-low-income (ELI) renters rose from approximately 170,000 to 220,000. Data indicates that there were only 43 affordable and available units per 100 ELI renter households, down from 49 in 2000.
  • Cost burden pressures were also higher at mid-decade than in 2000. The differences appear most dramatic for ELI renter households.

The Fed’s study sheds light on the failure to “grow the supply” of affordable rental housing. The number of renters has increased in recent years, and this increase has only added to pressures in the affordable rental housing market.

It’s likely that the need for additional affordable rental housing will continue to grow and that rental housing will become an even more important aspect of national housing policy discussions over the next few years. This study provides policymakers and those involved in the rental housing industry with valuable data for developing rental housing strategies for their communities.

The full report is available for download from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s website at:

Check out the Philadelphia Inquirer’s article on the report, featuring Housing Alliance Executive Director Liz Hersh, at


Pennsylvania RealEstateRama is an Internet based Real Estate News and Press Release distributor chanel of RealEstateRama for Pennsylvania Real Estate publishing community.

RealEstateRama staff editor manage to selection and verify the real estate news for State of Pennsylvania.


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