Black renters spend 8 percent more on rent in Memphis than white renters, Zillow reports

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A new study by Zillow shows African Americans spend almost 8 percent more of their income on rent in Memphis than white people.

The study also shows that rent has increased by as much as 14% in Memphis since August of last year. FOX13 spoke to some of the most affected people.

A number of renters who we spoke to tell us that rent can get tough in the city.

”Over half of my income, the rent takes up over half of it every month,” said Orange Mound mother of five Rose Jackson. “Then you have to pay for washing powder and bleach and food and everything else out of that same check. It’s hard to do out of one income.”

Right now, she said, she’s behind on the rent.

”Pretty much behind, to pay only $325, to try to save some to get through the rest of the month. That is the hardest part,” Jackson said.

Robert Wilson of Memphis told us it’s not so much the rent, but all the other bills.

”You know, if you are paying the money monthly, as far as food for yourself and your dog and family, add that to your rent and everything,” Wilson said.

Jackson said she’s just hoping for a break.

”Just trying to wait on another stimulus check to get me out of this bind, I have been in for the last three months, trying to keep up with the rent,” Jackson said.

The folks with Building Memphis said that they are seeing those numbers that Zillow reported.

”Ninety percent of those seeking rental and utility assistance are African American women over the ages of 35,” Deveney Perry of BLDG Memphis said.

Perry told us that one of the places to get help is by dialing 211 and the Memphis Public library. They can get you information on rent counselors.

”Link the public library’s phone line assistance service. They have seen about a 20% increase that is specifically requesting housing assistance from renters here in Memphis,” Perry said.

Perry said that assistance in paying the rent can also be found through several community agencies that partner with BLDG Memphis. It’s a big issue in Memphis because over 56% of people here rent.

”In Memphis, several of our community partners with Building Memphis have housing counseling agencies. Frayser Housing is a housing counseling agency. United Housing is a Housing Counseling agency.” Perry said.