Jimmy McMillan III, the now infamous founder of the "Rent Is Too Damn High Party", as well as a self-described karate expert, Vietnam War vet, former postal worker and male stripper, has made it his mission for the past two decades to fight rising rents in New York City that have persistently pushed lower-income families out of Manhattan to make more room for America's Ivy-League educated, entitled snowflakes.
But according to recent data published by Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Big Apple isn't the only place where a significant portion of the population is struggling to meet monthly rent payments. In fact, per the JCHS, the U.K., Spain and Canada join the U.S. to round out the list of the top four countries in the developed world where 20-30% of renters spend more than 50% of their gross income on rent alone.
The US, along with Spain, exhibits more pervasive and severe rental affordability problems than the other countries considered. The analysis indicates that the greater cost burdens found among renters in the US, relative to most of the other countries, are largely due to greater income inequality, to more limited housing assistance programs, and perhaps to a housing supply consisting of units that are larger and better-equipped but that are consequently more expensive. This paper is largely focused on lessons for the US from comparisons to other countries, but hopefully it will be useful for those interested in comparisons among those other countries
As Bloomberg points out, when you lower that threshold to 40%, the numbers are even more staggering and includes a large portion of Europe.
Meanwhile, Spain wins the award for the highest percentage of gross income that goes directly to landlords, while the U.S. and United Kingdom are a close 2nd and 3rd at around 30%.
That said, while a significant portion of renters across Europe receive some type of taxpayer-funded rent subsidy, renters in the U.S. just have to rely on their federally-subsidized student loans to cover their rent and spring break trips to Cancun.