New study shows almost half of renters in Omaha are 'cost burdened'

New study shows almost half of renters in Omaha are 'cost burdened'

Most people think Omaha would be a good place to live, but a new study shows almost half of all renters in the metro are struggling to fit the cost of rent into their budget.

Alana Hillgartner just moved from Des Moines and into an apartment in Blackstone.

"I'm a pretty frugal person, so I want to get the best deal," said Hillgartner. "We were definitely looking to make sure we got something that was within our budget, safe and a good deal."

For rent affordability, a new study shows the metro ranks 26 out of a list of 100 cities.

In 2016, more than 46% of renters in the metro were considered "cost burdened."

It means nearly half of the renters in the metro spend 30% or more of their income on rent.

"Builders are unable to keep up with the demand particularly for low income housing along with the millennials who not so much want to buy, they are buying but they want to rent," said Paul Vojchehoske of Nebraska Realty.

Over the last decade, statistics show rent prices increased by about 10%, yet the average renter's income increased by only 3%.

Vojchehoske says if you want a rent that doesn't strain your budget, there are things you can do.

Expand your search. He says rents get more expensive in crowded areas like the new Blackstone district or the Old Market.

Also, change the type of apartment, and perhaps go with a bigger two bedroom instead of a three bedroom.

"Just keep looking, and keep looking, and keep looking," said Vojchehoske.

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