With the City of San Antonio completing the redistricting process earlier this year, Texas Housers has released its 2023 Renter Profiles using a similar lens as previous years but now with new council district boundaries. The Renter Profiles compile relevant data around income, age, household composition, education level, cost burden, and other statistics to demonstrate what renting looks like in different San Antonio council districts. Although council districts have been resized and reshaped to respond to our changing city, one thing remains persistent in these Renter Profiles: All districts of the city need more affordable housing. Texas Housers finds that at least one in every five renters in every single district spend a majority of their income on rent – a phenomenon known as “severe cost burden” that has lasting health, economic and educational impacts on households.
In addition to new boundaries, the 2023 District Renter Profiles include eviction filing data by district. Eviction cases add an important dimension to the larger conversation about affordability and answer the question of what can happen when we don’t properly address our affordability crisis. Texas Housers urges you to explore these profiles to better understand your neighbors who rent and the types of conditions and challenges that come with renting your home in San Antonio.
A few takeaways from this year’s analysis:
- Subsidized housing remains concentrated in certain areas and almost entirely absent from others.
Subsidized housing in San Antonio, as tracked by these profiles, is the combination of public housing units, low income housing tax credit units (LIHTC), and units where the household is using a Housing Choice Voucher to rent. These units are subsidized by federal funds which allow rents to stay low, often making these units the most affordable in the city. Half of all of San Antonio’s subsidized units are concentrated in Districts 2, 3, and 5. Just 4% of our city’s subsidized units are in District 10. If we look only at public housing units, this unequal distribution is further highlighted; District 1 and District 5 combined are home to almost two thirds of the city’s public housing stock while District 9 has zero public housing units. San Antonio continues to be a city where certain areas are entirely inaccessible to families with low incomes.
- A large share of renters in every council district exceed the HUD-recommended amount of income to be spent on housing
Almost half of all renters in each San Antonio council district are “cost burdened” meaning they are spending more than 30% of their income each month on rent. When households exceed this 30% limit, any surprise financial emergency such as a hospital bill or a car crash or even just a late paycheck can put them at risk of losing their home. It is vital to also highlight the frequency of households experiencing “severe cost burden” – where over half of a household’s income goes towards rent each month. In every single council district, including the ones in which renter median household income is higher than the city average, at least one fifth of renters experience severe cost burden. Simply put, this suggests that the available rental housing stock in San Antonio is not meeting the needs of the households who are renting. With such a widespread issue of cost-burden, it is imperative that city leaders deliberately invest in measures that will bring down the cost of rent.
- Evictions are impacting more and more San Antonian renter households
Noting an 11% increase in eviction case filings from the previous year, 2022 data shows that approximately 15,000 rental households had an eviction filed against them in San Antonio. An eviction filing can bring housing instability, negative health outcomes, and reduced educational expectancy for all occupants in the household. This upward trajectory of eviction filings indicates an increased impact to San Antonio rental households – a trend that is likely to continue unless there is meaningful government intervention.
Texas Housers invites elected officials, city staff, neighborhood advocates, community leaders, and everyone in between to explore the 2023 District Renter Profiles. The data contained in these profiles is intended to elevate our collective understanding of renting in San Antonio, in hopes that this knowledge can progress us towards effective and transformative solutions.