Rental cost, unit size and neighborhood opportunity

A Data-for-Equity research brief
Published: 04.08.2018 Updated: 03.16.2020

Our new research finds that low-income families with children face significant challenges when they try to find affordable rental units in neighborhoods with the most resources for children. 

Research highlights:

  • In the 100 largest metro areas, rental units that are large or lower-cost are highly concentrated in the lowest-opportunity neighborhoods, and this concentration is especially pronounced for rentals units that are both large and lower-cost. 
  • The extent to which large rental units are located in higher-opportunity neighborhoods varies considerably across metro areas.
  • Restrictive zoning in Northeastern metros may partially explain the relatively small share of large rental units located in the higher-opportunity neighborhoods of these metros.
  • Minority households, especially Hispanic households, disproportionately face an affordability/size/neighborhood opportunity housing dilemma, as they are more likely to be renters, have larger households, have children, and have lower incomes. 
Nancy McArdle
Nancy McArdle
Senior Research Analyst
Headshot of Dolores Acevedo-Garcia
Dolores Acevedo-Garcia
Director, Professor of Human Development and Social Policy