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Affordable Rental Housing in Rural Texas

Needs and Solutions

Trends in U.S. and States in Dallas Fed’s District

Nationally, the share of renter households that are housing-cost burdened increased 0.6 percentage points between 2009 and 2017.[7] That means nearly 3 million additional households were struggling to pay for housing in 2017. Over this same period, however, the share of homeowners who were housing-cost burdened decreased more than 6 percentage points nationally. As a result, more than 4.5 million owner households were no longer struggling to pay for their housing in 2017. These trends and the disparity in recent experiences between renters and owners hold true in both metro and nonmetro areas.[8]

Table 1: Change in Housing-Cost-Burden Rates from 2009 to 2017: All of U.S.

  Nonmetro areas
  Renters (percent) Owners (percent)
Cost-burden level 2009 2017 Change 2009 2017 Change
Moderate cost burden 19.7 20.3 0.6*** 14.7 12.0 -2.7***
Severe cost burden 19.6 19.7 0.1 9.1 8.0 -1.1***
Any cost burden 39.3 40.0 0.7*** 23.8 20.0 -3.8***
  Metro areas
  Renters (percent) Owners (percent)
Cost-burden level 2009 2017 Change 2009 2017 Change
Moderate cost burden 23.3 23.6 0.3*** 19.2 14.6 -4.6***
Severe cost burden 24.0 24.3 0.3*** 12.2 9.9 -2.3***
Any cost burden 47.3 47.9 0.6*** 31.4 24.5 -6.9***

***Statistically significant at the 99 percent confidence level based on t-tests for independent groups.

NOTE: Totals and percent changes are rounded. Moderate cost burden is defined as spending between 30-50 percent of income on housing costs; severe cost burden is more than 50 percent.

SOURCES: American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates for 2005–09 and 2013–17; authors’ tabulations.

A review of data for states in the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ district (Texas, Louisiana and New Mexico) reveals that some housing-affordability trends in these states over this period are consistent with national trends (Table 2).[9]

As in the nation, fewer homeowners—both metro and nonmetro—in the three Dallas Fed district states were burdened by housing costs from 2009 to 2017. Also consistent with national trends, a greater share of nonmetro renters in Louisiana and New Mexico struggled with housing costs in 2017 than in 2009. Texas did not experience the same uptick in the nonmetro rental-cost burden, though the share of cost-burdened rural renters in the lowest-earning cohorts did climb.

Table 2: Change in Housing-Cost-Burden Rates from 2009 to 2017: Dallas Fed District States

  Nonmetro areas
  Renters (percent) Owners (percent)
State 2009 2017 Change 2009 2017 Change
Louisiana 37.5 42.1 4.6*** 19.1 16.2 -2.9***
New Mexico 35.0 38.3 3.4 19.8 18.3 -1.5
Texas 37.3 36.6 -0.8 20.6 17.4 -3.2***
U.S. total 39.3 40.0 0.7*** 23.8 20.0 -3.8***
  Metro areas
  Renters (percent) Owners (percent)
State 2009 2017 Change 2009 2017 Change
Louisiana 45.1 47.5 2.3** 22.2 19.7 -2.5***
New Mexico 46.2 47.3 1.1 27.5 23.7 -3.8***
Texas 45.3 45.0 -0.3 26.4 21.1 -5.3***
U.S. total 47.3 47.9 0.6*** 31.4 24.5 -6.9***

**Statistically significant at the 95 percent confidence level.
***Statistically significant at the 99 percent confidence level.

NOTE: Totals and percent changes are rounded. Shares are for any cost burden.

SOURCES: American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, 2005–09 and 2012–17; authors’ tabulations.

The overall divergence in housing-cost-burden trends between owners and renters is partially the result of a shift in housing choice, with a greater proportion of households renting homes in recent years than in the past. That trend holds true in the Dallas Fed’s district states (Table 3).

Table 3: Change in Renter Households from 2009 to 2017: Dallas Fed District States

  Nonmetro areas
  Number of renter households Percent of all households
State 2009 2017 Change 2009 2017 Change
Texas 290,060 307,527 17,467 27.2 28.5 1.3***
Louisiana 128,066 135,997 7,931 30.2 32.2 2.0***
New Mexico 70,143 75,476 5,333 28.7 30.9 2.2***
U.S. total 5,255,502 5,695,066 439,564 27.0 28.8 1.8***
  Metro areas
  Number of renter households Percent of all households
State 2009 2017 Change 2009 2017 Change
Texas 2,628,780 3,271,846 643,066 36.5 39.2 2.7***
Louisiana 395,184 464,186 69,002 32.4 35.3 2.9***
New Mexico 153,816 172,029 18,213 31.3 32.7 1.4***
U.S. total 32,035,105 37,297,720 5,262,615 34.4 37.6 3.2***

***Statistically significant at the 99 percent confidence level.

NOTE: Totals and percent changes are rounded.

SOURCES: American Community Survey (ACS) 5-Year Estimates, 2005–09, Table B25007, and ACS 5-Year Estimates, 2013–17, Table B25007; authors’ tabulations.

Notes
  1. Data are unavailable on these measures before 2009. Overall, the cost-burden rate increased between 2009 and 2014, and started to decrease from 2015 to 2017.
  2. The analysis does not address the issue of wealth, much of which was lost for homeowners during the Great Recession.
  3. The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ district covers all of Texas, as well as portions of Louisiana and New Mexico, states the Dallas Fed shares with the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and Kansas City, respectively.
Authors
  • Andrew Dumont
    Senior Community Development Analyst, Federal Reserve Board of Governors
  • Emily Ryder Perlmeter
    Community Development Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
  • Julie Gunter
    Senior Community Development Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

The full report can be found at https://www.dallasfed.org/cd/pubs/rural.aspx.

The views expressed in this framework are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect official positions of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas or Federal Reserve System.

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