Finding affordable rental housing in Maryland has been difficult over the past year. As most people know, the US is going through an affordable housing crisis, so there are not enough reasonably-priced homes to go around. That said, renters are still searching for ways to find affordable rental housing in Maryland. If you want to learn what’s caused an affordable housing crisis and how to find housing, just keep reading.
What Caused an Affordable Housing Crisis in the US?
An affordable housing crisis happens when there’s an imbalance of housing supply and demand. For instance, when there are not enough affordable homes for low-income renters, there’s an affordable housing crisis.
Housing is only considered “affordable” if it takes up less than 30% of a household’s income. That said, finding housing that doesn’t take up most of your budget is becoming harder and harder. In return, more renters are stressed about job stability, food prices, healthcare, and more.
Several factors contribute to the current affordable housing crisis. For instance, the COVID-19 pandemic played a massive role in the lack of supply and increased demand for rental housing. Besides supply and demand issues, land-use regulations and a lack of available resources are contributing factors.
What’s Next for Affordable Rental Housing in Maryland?
Maryland is no stranger to affordable rental housing issues. In fact, over the past eight years, Maryland’s administration has worked to produce and preserve affordable housing in innovative ways. For instance, the State of Maryland has provided financing and tax credits to create or preserve over 28,000 affordable rental units, according to Governor Hogan.
The State of Maryland continues to expand affordable housing opportunities further. Recently, nearly $32 million in project awards were announced through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s (DHCD) 2022 application round for federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) and state Rental Housing Funds.
In total, 21 awards were given out, including 12 projects and nine non-competitive awards, to create or preserve 1,340 high-quality, energy-efficient, affordable rental units. That said, awards are determined through competitive application rounds held by the DHCD.
As for the future of rental housing in Maryland, officials are working to create and preserve more affordable units for tenants and low-income families. So, if you’re looking for affordable housing, there are a few different ways to alter your search. Read along while we discuss how you can find affordable rental housing in Maryland.
Finding Affordable Rental Housing in Maryland
Finding affordable rental housing in Maryland doesn’t have to be complicated. There are a few tips to make the search process a bit easier. With a bit of research and planning, you can find an affordable rental home that fits your needs. Here are some tips to keep in mind while looking for your next rental.
- Thoroughly Research the Market- The first step to finding affordable housing is researching the market. After all, if you’re looking for the lowest rental rates, you’ll have to see which cities and neighborhoods offer the lowest rates.
- Choose an Affordable Neighborhood- Once you’ve done some market research to find out which cities offer the lowest rental rates, you’ll want to narrow down a neighborhood.
- Tour Each Rental Property- If you want to get the most out of a potential rental property, it’s best to tour it with a property manager in Baltimore before moving in. Looking at photos of the property online is great, but it doesn’t compare to seeing it in person.
- Make a Pros and Cons List- Once you’ve found and toured a few different properties, you can make a pros and cons list of what you’ve seen and noted about each one. Then, you can narrow down your list of potential properties.
- Choose a Property That Fits Your Budget- Once you’ve gone over all of your potential options, you can better choose a property that fits your budget and needs. It’s important to prioritize your budget as you’re looking at properties, especially if you’re looking for affordable housing.
Most Affordable Places to Live in Maryland
Like any state or city, rental rates in Maryland depend on what neighborhood you choose. If you’re looking for affordable rental housing in Maryland, you’ll want to look at neighborhoods that offer better prices and amenities.
Some of the more affordable neighborhoods in Maryland and their rental rates include:
- Cedonia- Average Rental Rate: $1,042
- Arcadia- Average Rental Rate: $1,050
- Winchester- Average Rental Rate: $1,069
- Arlington- Average Rental Rate: $1,190
- Hagerstown- Average Rental Rate: $1,204
- Arbutus- Average Rental Rate: $1,304
- Bel Air- Average Rental Rate: $1,360
- Baltimore City- Average Rental Rate: $1,536
Ultimately, if you’re looking for affordable rental housing in Maryland, you’ll have to do research to find potential properties. However, the first step is finding out which neighborhoods are most affordable. Then, you can narrow down the list of potential properties as you research each place.
Tips for Tenants Navigating High Rental Rates
Finding housing during an affordable housing crisis is no easy task. So, if you’re struggling to find reasonable housing during this time, there are a few things you can do to prepare and plan for your next home. For instance, you can start by researching the housing market to fully understand why rent is so high. After all, it can be frustrating as a tenant looking for housing when all of the rentals near you are too expensive. So, before settling on a decent rental home near you, compare rates with other rentals in other neighborhoods. Additionally, keep up with market trends to get some peace of mind as to why prices are changing.
Another tip for tenants is to simply save money. Home prices are exceptionally high, so some people opt to rent until prices come down a bit. That said, if you are renting but don’t want to be, start saving up for a home. Small actions and living a simpler lifestyle can help you save a significant amount of money.
Furthermore, if you feel like you’re paying too much for rent now, you can reach out to your landlord or property manager. Then, discuss with them the possibility of doing maintenance chores or common-area work to lower your monthly rate. Although it may not always work out, it doesn’t hurt to seek opportunities.
Need Help Managing Your Rental Properties?
Finding affordable rental housing in Maryland can be challenging, especially with inflation and increasing rental rates. As renters navigate the affordable housing crisis, it’s becoming harder and harder to find reasonable housing accommodations. Additionally, landlords are struggling to attract new renters, set fair rates, and manage all of their rental properties.
As such, many busy landlords hire rental property management to help communicate with tenants, set rental rates, collect payments, and more. Bay Property Management Group offers comprehensive rental management services in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Northern Virginia, and Washington, DC. Contact BMG today and speak with one of our dedicated property managers to learn more about our services.