Monday, December 09, 2013

A crisis in rental housing?

Each Monday the Merrimack Valley Housing Court comes to the Lowell Superior Court for a session.  The check-in line at 8:30 am is always out the door but it seems longer now than at anytime before.  Thinking about that earlier this morning, a story in today's Globe about rising rental costs caught my attention.  At $1000 per month, Massachusetts has the fifth highest median monthly rent in the country behind Hawaii at $1300, Washington DC at $1180, California at $1140, and Maryland/New Jersey at $1100.  The collapse of the housing market and the large number of foreclosures over the past decade have contributed to a steep increase in rents as many who had owned houses lost them and are now forced to be tenants.  With shelters overflowing and a long wait for subsidized housing, this situation doesn't look like it will improve any time soon.

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