Tampa renters spend 42% of income on rent, fourth worst in the U.S., says report

The report also found that Tampeños can afford less square footage, too.

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Tampa is the fourth worst city in the U.S. when it comes to changes in renting affordability, according to a recent Online Mortgage Advisor study.

The "2022 Priced Out Property" report analyzed purchase data in 218 cities around the world and rental data in 345 cities.  The study compared each city's average monthly net salary to the average rental cost of a one-bedroom apartment in a city center between 2017 and 2021.

The report found that in that time period, Tampa's rental affordability worsened by 5.2%, growing from 36% to 42%.

Only Boise (21.7%) Reno (9.5%) and Milwaukee (6.2%) saw more dramatic rises.

The findings display the severity of being rent burdened, which according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, happens when over 30% of income is spent on rent.

“Severely cost burdened poor households are more likely than other renters to sacrifice other necessities like healthy food and healthcare to pay the rent, and to experience unstable housing situations like evictions,” the Coalition wrote.

Additionally, the report compared the difference in the square-footage that a person earning the average annual net salary in each city could afford to buy in 2021 compared to 2017. For this, the study compared the average price of one square foot of an apartment in a city center to the average annual salary in those years.

Tampa ranked ninth, with buyers able to afford 15 less square feet in 2021 than they could in 2017, dropping from 54.4 to 39.6 square feet. So, yeah, say bye to that big closet for now, Tampeños.

Jacksonville—where someone on an average annual salary can afford 40 square feet less in those years—was the only other Florida city to appear in the ranking, coming in at no. 3.

On the flip side, Jacksonville saw a positive change when it came to renting. Renters only spent 26% of their salary on rent in 2021, compared to 37% in 2017—a decrease of 11%.

The worst two cities in the square-footage findings were Cleveland and Oklahoma with a 63 and 55.5 square foot difference.

The Priced Out report comes after yesterday's unanimous decision by Tampa City Council to approve the "tenants bill of rights" and activists across the Bay calling for tougher measures for rent control.  

About The Author

Sofía García Vargas

Sofía García Vargas, born in Colombia, South America and raised in Costa Rica, Central America, is a journalism student at the University of South Florida and Editor-in-Chief of The Crow’s Nest, USF St. Petersburg’s student newspaper. Her passions range from art and music to sports and food. She dreams of becoming...
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