As rents rise and the availability of affordable rental homes declines, it is increasingly difficult for low-income households to find quality housing options they can afford. While renter incomes in Greensboro are rising faster than rents overall, the trend doesn’t hold for renters without a bachelor’s degree. These renters represent the majority of the city’s renters – 71% of all renter households are headed by residents without a bachelor’s degree. Incomes for these residents have risen just 2% since 2010 when accounting for inflation, while rents have risen 5%. While Greensboro’s rental market is overall largely affordable, residents without a college education are at a disadvantage as their earnings lag increases in housing costs. Lagging incomes for residents with lower levels of educational attainment have resulted in a high degree of cost burden for Greensboro’s lowest- income households. 82% of Greensboro’s renters earning less than $20,000, and 71% of renter households earning between $20,000-$35,000 annually, pay more than 30% of their monthly income towards housing. 52% of these renters are extremely housing cost burdened and pay more than 50% on a monthly basis towards housing costs. As rents rise but wage growth does not keep pace for those with jobs in lower-paying sectors, there is a significant and increasing need for additional rental housing affordable for Greensboro’s low wage earners. While initiatives and efforts to help raise wages and income can also be effective in supporting low-income residents, Housing GSO is focused on housing affordability, and does not include recommendations around income and wage strategies.
2017 Median Renter Income: $33,000 2017 Median Earnings w/o Bachelor’s: $28,000
Real Growth in Rent Relative to Median Household Income, 2010-2017