The African American residing in Harris County is currently grappling with the challenging issue of escalating rental expenses.
Harrison County, A City of Renters
According to recent data, nearly half of all households in Harris County, Texas, were comprised of renters in the year 2021. The majority of these renters were African Americans. Unfortunately, a new report has revealed that rent prices are rising much faster than household incomes. This trend is causing a significant financial strain for these residents, especially those in the African American community.
As per the latest State of Housing report for Harris County and Houston in 2023, it has been observed that almost half of the renters in the region spend more than 30% of their income on rent, which accounts for an estimated $1,164. This is a significant concern as the median household income is around $3,724. Furthermore, this issue affects Black-led households more significantly, with nearly two-thirds being renters. This highlights the need for urgent action to fix the housing crisis in the area, especially for the marginalized sections of the community.
As per the report, the escalation in rental rates has been notably higher in the Second Ward and East End districts, with prices almost reaching the double mark since 2015. Meanwhile, even suburban regions like Tomball have witnessed a substantial surge of 71% in rental rates.
Kinder Institute to Release an Interactive Dashboard
Stephen Sherman, a research scientist at the Kinder Institute, has highlighted that the inequalities in our society extend beyond just housing. This issue encompasses many areas, such as childcare, food access, the job market, and fair wages. He stressed the significance of considering not only the rental expenses but also the reliability and safety of the rental accommodations, particularly for a community and urban area mainly composed of tenants.
The Kinder Institute has announced launching an interactive dashboard with housing data for Harris County neighborhoods in the fall.