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Housing got less affordable during the pandemic, hitting renters harder than homeowners

Housing Rental Costs
David Zalubowski
/
AP
In this Nov. 20, 2015, file photo, a rental sign is seen outside a property in Denver.

More than 17% of Coloradans are renters. According to an analysis from Headwaters Economics, a Montana-based, independent think tank, the largely unprecedented growth in housing costs over the last year has impacted renters more than homeowners. This is especially the case with housing unaffordability.

Of the counties across the U.S. that are experiencing housing cost increases this year, 92% were already unaffordable for renters before the pandemic, whereas just 18% were considered unaffordable for homeowners. Megan Lawson, an economist with Headwaters Economics, and author of that analysis, joined us to explain that gap, and how things got to this point.

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KUNC's Colorado Edition is a daily look at the stories, news, people and issues important to you. It's a window to the communities along the Colorado Rocky Mountains.
I host and produce KUNC’s in-depth, regional newsmagazine Colorado Edition, which has me searching across our state for peculiar and impactful stories to bring to listeners, always with a focus on empowering the people who hear our show and speaking through them to our guests. I am also a big nerd about field recording and audio editing, my dedication to which I hope serves our listeners who care about audio as much as I do.