Oh, nothing to see here. Just that a notice put out by the Housing and Urban Development Department today put the Fair Market Rent of a 1-bedroom in Boston-Cambridge-Quincy at $1,801, up from $1,421 in 2017. This as the federal government jacked the cost of an efficiency here from $1,253 to $1,608, while a two-bedroom spiked from $1,740 to $2,194, a three bedroom from $2,182 to $2,749, and a four-bedroom from $2,370 to $2,966.
FMRs “are used to determine payment standard amounts for the Housing Choice Voucher program, to determine initial renewal rents for some expiring project-based Section 8 contracts, to determine initial rents for housing assistance payment (HAP) contracts in the Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy program (Mod Rehab),” and impact multiple other federal, state, and local housing programs as well, not to mention the housing market at large. According the Federal Register, the “updated FY 2019 FMRs are based on surveys conducted by the area public housing agencies (PHAs) and reflect the estimated 40th or 50th percentile rent levels trended to April 1, 2019.”
Meanwhile, in related news, the Trump administration is proposing further drastic cuts to public housing, all while the affordable housing crisis generally worsens nationwide. As Curbed reported earlier today:
During a press call about The Gap—the National Low-Income Housing Coalition’s annual report on the state of the nation’s housing—Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the NLIHC, described a situation at a breaking point.
Today, more than 8 million Americans spend more than half their income on housing, meaning that these severely rent-burdened households have little left every month to pay for food, transportation, and healthcare. No state or city in the entire country has an adequate supply of housing for extremely low-income housing population; California alone is short one million units.
And so on. Times are tough across the board, but especially in Metro Boston, which as of this latest readjustment has surpassed the metro New York HUD Metro area in all FMR categories.