A new study, Paying the Rent, from the Wisconsin Policy Forum finds that a majority of Walworth County’s renters are rent-burdened, placing the county in the top five most distressed in the state by that measurement. (There are, of course, 72 counties in Wisconsin, so Walworth County is among the weakest of a very large group.)
The study defines being rent-burdened using a common definition: “[a] 30% rent-to-income (RTI) ratio is a standard used nationally to define housing affordability. Based on this standard, households can afford to spend up to 30% of their income on gross rent (contract rent plus utilities) and still cover other expenses. Those spending over 30% are considered “rent burdened.””
State, county, and local ‘development’ agencies have failed to make headway in the critical measure of individual and household incomes.
Expensive projects that still leave tens of thousands rent-burdened don’t represent community development at all.
See also Walworth County’s Working Poor.