Do Lower Rents Mean The Bay Area is Becoming More Affordable?

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A sign advertising an apartment for rent hangs from a fire escape in front of an apartment building in San Francisco, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Rental rates for homes are dropping across the Bay Area. They first fell in 2020 during the pandemic and never fully recovered. Some renters are spending less on rent, but nearly half of Bay Area residents are considered rent-burdened. That leaves housing advocates and experts doubtful the region will become more affordable in a meaningful way. We’ll talk about what lower rents could mean long term and how renters can take advantage of the current market.


Ben Metcalf, managing director, Terner Center of Housing Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley, former director of California Department of Housing and Community Development

Shanti Singh, communications and legislative director, Tenants Together

Chris Salviati, senior housing economist, Apartment List