The video that’s been making the rounds on the internet the last few days is of Jimmy McMillan’s Rent is Too Damn High performance at the New York governor’s debate, which essentially stole the stage from big-name candidates like Andrew Cuomo.
The Wall Street Journal examined Mr. McMillan’s cause in a recent post on its Developments blog:
Many personal finance experts say you should spend no more than 35% of your gross income on rent whether you live in a high- or low-cost area. Rents in New York, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. average $2,090 and are among the highest in the nation, running as much as 218% higher than in other major metro areas, according to Movoto.com. In most metro areas, income dropped between 2008 and 2009, according to the Commerce Department. In the New York metro area, for example, income fell 4.6% to $52,375, which translates into no more than $1,527 per month.
Earlier this month, Delta Associates released its third quarter report in which it noted that rents in the DC area have soared 7.3 percent for Class A and B apartments over the past twelve months. Specifically, the average rent in the DC area is now $1,643 a month, up from $1,507 a month in Septemeber 2009. By the 35 percent gross income rule, DC area residents would have to make at least $56,300 a year to comfortably pay the current monthly rent.
On a side note, rent advocate Jimmy McMillan has been paying just $800 a month in rent for his one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn (although he foots the bill for his son’s rent as well).
UT readers: Are you paying more or less than 35 percent of your gross income on rent? Let us know in the comments.
This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/is_rent_too_damn_high_in_the_dc_area/2591
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