Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) recently released the 2013 edition of its State of the Nation’s Housing report, which indicates positive housing market growth and an inclination that the housing recovery is well underway. In terms of the rental market, JCHS notes that last year marked the second consecutive year of double-digit percentage increases in multifamily construction and attributes this growth to an increase of 1.1 million renter households. However, the report also maintains that affordability continues to remain a challenge for millions of Americans, with 37 percent of households spending more than 30 percent of income on housing, and 18 percent half more than half. In fact, the report finds that the share of households paying over half of their incomes in rent has risen nearly 50 percent over the last decade.

The report concludes that while the growth in the multifamily sector has played in major role in the increased stability in the overall housing market, a critical issue for the rental market going forward is whether other sources of multifamily financing will step up as the GSEs and FHA curtail lending. While the participation of private capital has increased in recent years, it is unclear how well these sources will meet the growing demand for multifamily financing, particularly for the affordable and underserved market segments. This is particularly troubling given the clear demand that still exists for safe, decent affordable housing.

Click here to read the report.