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Rent-burdened in Boston: About half city’s tenant households confront crushing costs

New analysis clocked a slight increase in the share of Boston households paying at least 30 percent of their income in rent

An aerial shot of apartment buildings in Boston. jiawangkun/Shutterstock

The percentage of Boston tenant households paying at least 30 percent of their monthly income toward rent increased to 48.9 percent in 2017 from 48.4 percent in 2016, according to a new analysis from real estate research and listings site Apartment List.

That increase in the percentage of so-called rent- or cost-burdened households bucked the national trend from 2016 to 2017, which saw a slight decrease in the share of households paying so much on leasing every month.

Boston, in fact, had the 47th highest share of rent-burdened households among the 100 cities that Apartment List analyzed.

What’s more, 24.5 percent of the city’s tenant households are what the report called severely cost-burdened—spending more than 50 percent of their monthly income on rent. And the overall number of burdened households was up 45,886 from 2007 to 2017, the report said.

The report also noted that these increases came despite a generally robust national—and, we should note, local—economy.