The Great American Housing and Rental Crisis

Today, people take it for granted that in order to live in a safe neighborhood and not worry about being murdered or robbed, they must pay between $700 and $1500 per month in rent [1]. In some dilapidated pits like New York City, a run-down bug-infested slime pit that is barely big enough to fit a twin bed – no exaggeration – can run anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 per month for rent [2].

However, this is a much bigger problem, because at an average of $700 to $1000 [1] for a month for security from homelessness and destitution, not including the most expensive cities such as New York or Los Angeles, the cost of rent is getting out of hand. There is a huge issue with this price for the freedom to not be killed, robbed, or homeless, and this is a problem that no one is looking at.

Over half of Americans now make under $30,000 per year [3], [4], not including illegal immigrants. The middle class is dead. Moreover, 43.1% of these Americans are living in poverty [5], making under $12,000 per year for individuals and under $15,000 per year for couples [6]. Worse, nearly half of the impoverished, 19.4%, live in “deep poverty”, making less than 50% of the poverty level [5], which is less than $6,000 per year for individuals and less than $7,500 per year for couples.

This chart which shows how rental prices have far outpaced household incomes is right on point.

What do these numbers mean? What no one is looking at is the cost of rent, but not only the cost of rent but also income requirements in order to afford rent. Most apartments and landlords will require 3x the cost of rent per month in monthly income [7], or as much as 40x to 50x the cost of rent per month in annual income [8].

In other words, this means that for the average rental, which is officially $959 per month, to be eligible to even rent, one must have a personal income of between $2,877 per month ($28,770), which is 3x the cost of rent, to $3,995 per month or $47,950 per year for the 50x requirement.

Even at a more generous landlord’s 2.5x monthly income, which is the lowest that can be found, this is still $2,398 per month, which comes to $28,770 per year in annual income. The stunning revelation from this is that at this cost, over half of all Americans are not eligible to rent an average apartment.

At a U.S. population of 325,511,557 [9], this means that over 160 million of the 325 million Americans are not eligible to get a lease to live in even an average apartment. This is the very definition of a crisis. It is not a wonder, then, why the homeless population in every major U.S. city is skyrocketing [10]. Even the people who can afford to pay rent, the few who are employed, are not even earning enough to get a lease on an apartment, much less a mortgage for their own home.

This chart from the U.S. Census Bureau on average rents in the United States shows the exorbitant rent costs for the 50 states. Hawaii, D.C., and California top the list, unsurprisingly. However, it is important to note that this data is highly skewed, because as I and many others know from experience, the average rent in Los Angeles is between $1,800 to $3,000 for a tiny apartment in a decently safe neighborhood.

Why is this a landlord problem? It is a landlord problem because as need has gone up and income has gone down, which should have drastically reduced rents, rents in America are at an all-time high in many major cities, and are still going up as much as $100 to $200 every single year [11]. Some landlords such as in already expensive Toronto are even doubling already exorbitant rents [12]. Effectively, landlords are pricing half of Americans out of having a place to call home.

This is a problem because landlords are parasites of society who do almost no work, but exploit the poor and desperate, profiteering off the basic human need for shelter and safety and a place to call home by stealing money from the poor to profit themselves.

Every renter in America who has paid more than 10 years of rent, should own their own house. They have paid for a house. However, they have nothing to show for it, and despite paying for a house with $120,000 in rent payments, they often will end up homeless and destitute while the fat landlords get filthy rich [13].

Smug property developers like this care about nothing but their bottom line; while meanwhile half of America can’t even afford a place to live.

This is a sociological problem, an ethical problem, a moral problem; and as such needs to become legally enforced. While I am certainly no advocate of big government (quite the contrary), when it comes to regulating the parasites of America, there is none that is in greater need of extreme regulation than America’s landlord market.

However, this is not only an American problem. Seizing the opportunity, self-interested, callous scumbags in every first world country in modern civilization have exploited the poor in this desolate and dreadfully evil market. European countries, China, and many other first-world countries have followed suit [14], and the select rich landlords continue to get fat and wealthy while the poor masses lose out and often become homeless despite having paid the cost of a home, even many times over for older generations.

Landlords contribute absolutely nothing to society, they are a leech, a parasite who suck the blood and life out of hard-working people in reckless disregard for any sense of morality or common good. They are only interested in themselves and their profit.

The annual rent increases continue to increase at a staggering rate in many major cities and metropolitan areas in the United States

If a family of 3 can’t pay rent, the instinct for the landlord is to ask themselves, “how will I afford my Ferrari payment if they don’t pay their rent? It’s time to evict them and their babies onto the streets. They better not give me any trouble.” Not once do they think about the consequences, or the fact that this family already paid more than the value of the entire building in their last 10 years of faithful rent payments. How could landlords face this truth? If they owned up to reality, many landlords would not be able to live with themselves. So they live in blissful intentional ignorance.

However, it is true that many landlords are good people at heart. It is not that all landlords themselves, as people, are callous and evil, even though there definitely are some. The more vile members of this landlord culture become slumlords. However, that is a different topic.

The issue here is the fact that the cost of the basic human necessity for shelter and safety is being mindlessly exploited by the position of landlord, and this evil is so accepted in western society that people take it for granted that they must slave their lives away at terrible jobs to no end, not to make a better life, but merely to escape homelessness and death.

This couple makes enough to even pay the exorbitant rent, but because it no longer meets the insane income requirements due to the annual rent hikes, the family with a child is forced out onto the streets. The landlord does not care and continues laughing on their way to the bank. All that matters to the landlord is continuing to make their 97% profit every month from the next renter.

It is the position of landlord, not necessarily the person of a landlord, which is the evil of society. It is one of the single greatest mistakes of the founding fathers of America, to not reign in this deadly evil parasitic societal establishment that steals from the poor and gives to the rich. Moreover, it is not the position of landlord alone, but rather the power allowed by this landlord to exploit people for such exorbitant prices while contributing so little.

There is no other job in America that is more unjust and overpaid than the position of landlord. Even the absolute best landlords who fix all the problems, still make an exorbitant and unreasonable profit off the backs of hard-working people who almost always have no other alternative. It is a deadly and tragic evil of society that must be quelled, or society will eventually fall.

The problem of income in America is not in fact income. The problem in America is the cost of rent. Government subsidies through section 8 housing is absolutely not the solution [15]. Subsidizing landlords so that instead of directly stealing form the poor and giving to the rich landlords, the government steals from the poor through taxes and still gives to the rich landlords, does not solve the problem, but only propagates it.

Home ownership in America is on a steep decline, while the cost of rent has skyrocketed. It is not any wonder then why there is a housing crisis in America today.

The solution needs to be the removal of the position of landlord from society. Home ownership and reasonable housing prices need to make a comeback, while rents need to be forced to be brought down to reasonable levels, such as $300 per month for an apartment which is presently $1,000 per month. Again, not by government subsidy so that the landlord still makes their $975 per month profit every month.

This unjust theft by landlords needs to be quashed, and this loophole in western society which allows greedy rich to profiteer off the hard-working poor while barely lifting a finger, needs to be ended by force. Landlords should have to work just as hard as every other citizen of society. This means they must get a real job, and if they want to make some investment income of a reasonable $100 or $200 per month from rentals, then so be it, this is not exorbitant.

However, as it is, rentals are nearly pure profit, even after taking into account millions of dollars in renovations across multiple properties, as well as maintenance and upkeep [16]. The vast majority of this cost is not expense, but exorbitant profit. It is profiteering in its truest form – taking a rare resource of a critically needed commodity to exploit the desperate through price gouging and price fixing. In any other industry, this would be a heinous crime, but somehow landlords have been overlooked by the legal system.

To elaborate, according to Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs, the need for safety is second only to the need for food and shelter. Shelter is among the number one most critical and basic human needs, along with air, food, and water [17].


An example of illegal profiteering is that if food becomes scarce, such as in wartime, and merchants exorbitantly raise the price on food, they are guilty of the crime of profiteering, which comes with strict legal penalties and jailtime [18]. The same would go if all merchants colluded to raise the price of food to unreasonable levels (ironically, this is actually occurring today as well, but is also overlooked [19]). However, when landlords do it, no one seems to bat an eye.

It seems that no one has ever brought suit against a rental agency for profiteering, despite it clearly being just that. Moreover, with decreased incomes and a desperate job market, rents are getting so high in some areas, that the landlords are directly responsible for the homeless problems. The problem of the homeless and the poor and the struggling is not society, unless you hold society responsible for the existence of landlords. Whichever way you put it, the problem is not income or inequality or the job market, the problem is landlords and their vile greed and callous attitude toward their victims whom they rob every month.

Who will come to the defense of the common man, the effective working poor who now make up more than half of America? How will we stop this collusion among the corrupt landlord institution? Do you think the problem is lack of knowledge and indoctrination, or would you hold the landlords directly responsible for their crimes against humanity?

[1] US Residential Rent and Rental Statistics | Department of Numbers
[2] New York Rental Prices & Values | Zillow
[3] Goodbye Middle Class: 51 Percent Of All American Workers Make Less Than 30,000 Dollars A Year | Washington’s Blog
[4] 1 In 2 Working Americans Make Less Than $30,000 A Year | Daily Caller
[5] Current estimates on poverty in the U.S. | Center for Poverty Research, UC California, Davis
[6] U.S. Poverty Level |
[7] Qualification Guidelines & Occupancy Standards | Apartment Management
[8] The Reality of New York City Apartments | Elika Real Estate
[9] US Population and World Clock |
[10] L.A. County homelessness jumps a ‘staggering’ 23% as need far outpaces housing, new count shows | Los Angeles Times
[11] Reading rents increase by almost £100 per month in a year | Get Reading, UK
[12] Tenants looking for new place after $1,660 rent increase | CBC News, Toronto, Canada
[13] More Americans Are Renting, and Paying More, as Homeownership Falls | Los Angeles Times
[14] Beijing named most expensive global city to rent in | Independent UK
[15] How Housing Policy Is Failing America’s Poor | The Atlantic
[16] Harrison, Fred (2012). The Traumatised Society: How to Outlaw Cheating and Save Our Civilisation. Shepheard Walwyn Publishers, Ltd., London.
[17] Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs | Simply Psychology
[18] Anti-Profiteering measure and price control mechanism under GST | Lexology
[19] When will food prices stop rising? No time soon, experts say | ABC News

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