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Loving mother and disabled young daughter at play
Getty/Patryce Bak
Loving mother and disabled young daughter at play

Study: Accessible Housing Comes with Unfair Cost Burdens

An apartment accessible to the disabled costs about 10% more to rent, even though more disabled renters are cost burdened compared to the general population.

CHICAGO – According to a new Apartment List study, accessible homes – those with features designed to improve quality of life for people with disabilities – are 10% more expensive than non-accessible homes nationwide, even when controlling for size and location.

According to the study, the price differential puts an unfair financial burden on consumers who require accessibility features since 57% of renters with a physical disability are cost-burdened, compared with 46% of renters without physical disabilities.

The discrepancy, which is caused by an inadequate supply of accessible housing occurs in 97 of the nation’s 100 largest metro areas, according to the study. Nationwide, 15.2 million households in the United States include a person with a physical disability, but only 6.6 million homes are “livable to people with moderate mobility difficulties,” the study notes.

Overall, the median household income of renters with a disability is 45% lower than those without a disability – but the median rent is only 20% lower.

“Over 20% of multifamily homes built during the 2000s are accessible – more than double the rate from three decades earlier. This favors renters who are more likely to live in multifamily housing. However, renters with disabilities may continue to struggle with affordability since newer accessible homes tend to be more expensive than the older, less accessible homes they replace,” says the report.

Source: Realtor Magazine (02/24/20)

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