We’ve all got questions about housing. And while home buyers are having more luck than they have in years, a lot of us are renting — and housing nonprofits are stretched thin right now to prevent evictions. But with city officials considering a new zoning code proposal that could bring more affordable housing, what does the future hold for Boise renters?
What is deemed “affordable” housing in Boise?
HUD’s rule of thumb regarding affordable housing is that a household’s rent should not exceed 30% of the household’s income. So for someone making 100% of the median income, $61,000, an affordable rent is just over $1,500.
But as we all know, not everyone makes that much. I keep thinking of when I was in college, making less than $15,000 a year, which would budget for an affordable rent of $443. You can’t find a one bedroom apartment for double that almost anywhere here.
Boise’s median income is going up — what does that mean for renters?
It’s great that wages are going up. After all, last year, Boise home prices increased four times as quickly as incomes, so it needs to happen. But increasing median wages means that what is considered affordable according to the government is also increasing.
As the Idaho Statesman reported last summer, an affordable rent for a three-person household increased from $1,695 in 2021 to $1,970 in 2022, a 14% increase.
That increase in rent is difficult for all renters (even if they did get a meager-to-solid raise, 14% raises are quite uncommon). However, it has an outsized impact on those who rely on government-subsidized housing, because they could be pushed into a higher bracket without actually making more money to make up for the lessened governmental funding.
So as the buying market continues to level off, we’ll keep an eye on how renters are faring.