Thursday, December 1 2022

SAN ANTONIO — Renters in every San Antonio City Council district earn less than homeowners, and nearly half of them spend more than 30% of their income on housing, according to a report by a nonprofit organization. nonprofit focused on housing equity.

The report released in late September by Texas Housers – which advocates for low-income Texans to have access to decent, affordable housing in quality neighborhoods – shows that 52% of tenants in District 2 on the East Side are considered overburdened costs, which means more than 30% of their income goes to housing. Meanwhile, more than 28% of tenants in District 5 on the West Side spend more than half their income on rent, the highest concentration of tenants considered to be heavily cost-burdened.

“If you’re spending too much on housing, it can mean you’re sacrificing childcare. It can mean you don’t have the money to put food on the table…or medical issues that you’re putting off because you have to pay the rent first,” said Mia Loseff, Regional Manager of South Texas at Texas Housers, which leads housing research, advocacy and tenant organizing, and has offices in San Antonio, Houston and Austin.

In its report, the nonprofit presents “renter profiles” that paint a picture of the city’s renter population based on the most recent five-year estimates from the US Census’ American Community Survey. Office and Data of State and Opportunity Home San Antonio – formerly known as the San Antonio Housing Authority.

Profiles are broken down by municipal district and include figures on housing types and ages, average rents, average median household income of renters and landlords, and percentage of units available to renters earning the wage. minimum.

By compiling this data, which reflects long-standing patterns and trends, the nonprofit organization said it “intends to provide insight into the conditions in which tenants live and the potential challenges they face. may be confronted”.

On ExpressNews.com: ‘Miserably difficult’: Double-digit rent increases leave more San Antonio residents struggling to keep up

These challenges include the ability to find housing in many parts of San Antonio and housing costs that exceed wage growth. Residents who spend a large portion of their salary on rent and other bills have little left to save for a down payment for a house. Rents and house prices are rising.

Subsidized apartments are not evenly distributed across the city. Sixty percent of public housing is in Districts 1 and 5 combined, which encompasses the West Side and North Downtown neighborhoods up to the 410 Loop.

“If you’re in that lowest income bracket, you just don’t have the option of renting in all parts of the city, and most parts of the city are really inaccessible,” Loseff said.

The largest gap between the average median household income of renters and homeowners is in District 9 on the North Side — $46,050 a year for renters and $107,020 for homeowners, according to Texas Housers.

The average monthly rent paid by tenants is lowest in District 5, at $782, and highest in District 9, at $1,185.

On ExpressNews.com: Rents in San Antonio rose nearly 15% in May, marking the fifth consecutive monthly increase

Six percent of District 5’s rental units were built in the past 10 years, Loseff said. It has the largest public housing stock, with 1,936 units, and includes the 501-unit Alazán Courts, the oldest and largest complex in the city.

Alazán Courts was to be demolished and replaced with mixed-income apartments through a partnership between Opportunity Home and The NRP Group.

But pressure from residents and housing advocates concerned about the move prompted Opportunity Home to retreat last year. The agency is working with Able City to create a master plan for the complex.

District 9 has no public housing and District 4 southwest of San Antonio has 14.

District 2 has the most units occupied by families with Section 8 vouchers, at 1,629. District 9 has the fewest, at 114.

The number of vouchers has declined, as has the city’s public housing stock and the number of landlords accepting vouchers, Loseff said.

On ExpressNews.com: ‘Pretty crazy’ rent increases in San Antonio lead to unusual apartment building boom

There are a variety of factors driving the distribution of different types of units — redlining, white flight, urban renewal and development patterns, to name a few, she said.

“Each neighborhood has its specific environment or situation. But it’s important to look at it as a whole if you’re going to head to this fairer city, where low-income people can rent everywhere,” Loseff said.

Texas Housers also included data for the past decade.

The average monthly rent paid by a tenant fell from $748 to $1,025 during this period, and the number of units available to tenants earning minimum wage fell by 24%, according to the association.

Texas Housers shares profiles with city council members, advocacy groups, neighborhood associations, and other organizations.

“We hope that giving these profiles and insight is an educational tool,” Loseff said.

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