POVERTY & AFFORDABLE HOUSING
The Census Bureau came out with non-shocking news last week: The proportion of Americans in poverty spiked from 14.3% to 15.1% last year. (That's 46.2 million of us.) University of Southern California Lusk Center's Gary Painter tells us there's a catch-22 for tenants as unemployment digs into incomes while rents rise with demand in the major metros. What then? Households are combining. (Hot stock tip: invest in bunk beds.) Typically, one million new households form in the US every year; since ?08, though, there?ve been only one million total. Marcus & Millichap tax credit group head Robert Sheppard, based in Seattle, says the swollen ranks of unemployed don't alone make the affordable housing tenant pool bigger—prospective tenants still need some income to land a lease. Still, as former single-family and condo owners join the ranks of renters and increase demand, rents are rising, chasing other renters to Class-B and (trickle down) Class-C apartments.