Housing Least Affordable in U.S.
A new study finds that U.S. rents are far higher than in 10 other countries in Europe and Canada, which is largely due to greater income inequality.
The analysis indicates that the greater cost burdens found among renters in the US, relative to most of the other countries, are largely due to greater income inequality, to more limited housing assistance programs, and perhaps to a housing supply consisting of units that are larger and better-equipped but that are consequently more expensive.
The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies compares the U.S. rental housing market to 11 rental housing markets in developed countries, including Canada, Germany and Switzerland. The median ratio of housing cost to household income was higher in the U.S. than in 10 out of the 11 countries studied, and the U.S. had the highest share of severely cost-burdened renters.
Michael Carliner and Ellen Marya, Rental Housing: An International Comparison. In: The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, September 2016.
Overcrowding Worse in the U.S.
In most countries, immigrants are at least twice as likely to live in overcrowded homes as the native-born. Slovenia, Austria and the United States also show sharp disparities in the overcrowding rates experienced by immigrants and the native-born. In those countries, over a quarter of immigrants live in overcrowded accommodation, compared to about 7% among the native-born (…)
OECD: Indicators of Immigrant Integration. Settling In. 2015
Housing: New Public/Private Partnerships to Expand Housing Opportunities for Newcomers
To prevent urban ghettoization in the face of 1 million refugee arrivals, federal and municipal agencies have adopted ambitious social housing construction programs. Additionally, volunteers have stepped up to offer innovative housing solutions in the form of apartment-shares. The Berlin-based Refugees Welcome, which has been described as an “Airbnb for refugees,” has helped people fleeing from Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia and Syria. Another nonprofit group, 83 Integrity, facilitates apartment-shares for refugees, acting as an interlocutor between the refugees and potential hosts. They aim for one room per every thousand residents of Constance (with a total population of 83,000), which would equal 83 rooms – hence the name of the initiative.
Refugees who have been in the United States longer generally own their own homes
Seventy-three percent of Burmese refugees and 72 percent of Bosnian refugees who have been in the United States for more than 10 years live in homes they own themselves—higher than the rate for U.S.-born people at 68 percent. Only Somalis have a considerably lower home ownership rate: 21 percent of Somalis who have lived in the United States for more than 10 years own their own homes.
David Dyssegaard Kallick with Silva Mathema: Refugee Integration in the United States. June 2016.