Renting an apartment or a house in the United States has become increasingly expensive over the past decade. As it stands, 64% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, thanks to the high cost of living. The median rent in the United States has increased by 17.11% since March 2021, which equates to an annual growth rate equivalent to a $283 rise in monthly rent.
One would expect that the price of rent would only go up if people had more money to spend. However, this is not the case. One of the reasons for high rents is that regardless of how much a landlord charges, there is always someone desperate and willing to pay. Mega landlords, who have invested in a quarter of all homes sold last year, are driving up rents.
Another factor contributing to the high rents is the existence of vacant houses across the country. The United States has approximately 16 million vacant homes, most of which are owned by rich investors. These investors do not care if their properties sit empty for years, which puts an enormous strain on the housing market. With so many people struggling with homelessness, it is absurd that so many houses remain vacant. If each homeless person were given one of these vacant houses, every person in America could have roughly 10 to 20 houses.
Blackstone Group, the largest property landlord in the United States, is buying up affordable housing and increasing the rent prices. The company’s financial troubles have not slowed its acquisitions, and it is making it hard for low-income earners to secure affordable housing. This practice is not unique to San Diego, as Blackstone is doing this across the country.
It is time for policymakers to find solutions to the housing crisis, whether it is by creating more affordable housing or by incentivizing investors to rent out their properties to people in need.
Learn more about America’s housing crisis and the shady actors behind it in this latest episode of the Most Censored News with Lee Camp.
Lee Camp is an American stand-up comedian, writer, actor and activist. Camp is the host of Behind The Headlines’ new series: The Most Censored News With Lee Camp. He is a former comedy writer for the Onion and the Huffington Post and has been a touring stand-up comic for 20 years.