2014 a Record Year for Rent Increases

01 12 15 For Rent signThis month we are focusing on saving here at Piedmont Housing, and for many of our clients, their saving is itself focused–they are saving for a home purchase.  Piedmont Housing offers down payment assistance, but it doesn’t cover it all.  Every one of our buyers has “skin in the game” because they must come up with money for part of their down payment.

One factor making this harder than ever is the high cost of rentals.  As the MacArthur Foundation and CNBC report, 2014 had a record increase in rentals, with a jump of $20 billion over the rents collected in 2013. High rental costs have been a fact of life in Charlottesville for a long time, with statistics showing that six in every ten renters in the city and Albemarle County face a rent burden (defined as paying more than 30% of their gross income for housing.)  More for rent means less for saving, and for many, less for food, medicine and other necessities.

Piedmont Housing is (strategically) beating the bushes for opportunities to supply our area with more affordable rentals.  It’s a big part of our mission. Ironically, it is also one of the ways we will create opportunities for greater home ownership.