How affordable is rent in your neighborhood?

Jen/turkeychik via Flickr Creative Commons

What percentage of your income goes to rent? And how does that stack up against your neighbors? 

In May, we launched a series on renting in Los Angeles that looked to answer those questions. The first installment was this interactive map that shows how much tenants pay across the city.

We heard about the experiences of more than 150 Angelenos. In Southern California — a region where most residents can't afford to buy a house — rents are the least affordable they've ever been. So it makes sense that of the initial 70 people who chatted with us about the topic, 21 of them used the term "hate" to describe their renting experiences. 

Kenneth Kuo spends about 38 percent of his paycheck on rent. He lives in a condo in Palms — a neighborhood northwest of Culver City. 

"I appreciate that there is a washer/dryer in the unit; and that I get along decently with the owner/roommate," he wrote to us via Public Insight Network. "What I dislike is that this location was supposed to have been a temporary location to reside. ..."

"It's seven years later and I haven't been able to find a decent single or one bedroom in the area that's affordable, safe ... and doesn't take up more than half of my monthly paycheck," he wrote.

Can you relate? 

Curbed L.A. suggested earlier this month that Angelenos looking for the most affordable rent in L.A. should explore Mid-Wilshire, North Hollywood, Highland Park and Leimert Park.

We used our interactive rent map to get a feel for those areas. Take Highland Park, for example. 

Renters in the 90042 zip code occupy an estimated 10,975 households. The median monthly rent is $1,087, an average of 33 percent of their income. This means tenants — on average — are spending about one-third ($12,208) of their annual income ($36,995) on rent. 

In neighboring South Pasadena, median rent is bit lower at 26 percent. But that doesn't mean prices are lower. Rent on average will cost you $1,399. 

In the meantime, a new UCLA study confirms that "Los Angeles is now the most unaffordable rental market in the country based on their analysis of key factors, including what portion of renters’ income regularly goes to pay rent."

We'll be continuing our series on rents in Los Angeles with another piece in the next week. Meanwhile, keep your reports, and ideas, coming!

What percentage of your income goes to rent? And how does that stack up against your neighbors? Find out here — and share your story in comments, become a KPCC source or tell us about it on Twitter using the hashtag #myrent.


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