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Top 20 Cities With Affordable Rent in the U.S. in 2017 - 2021 Update!

I'm a research geek who enjoys helping people find resources for tough situations.

Affordable Housing in Boston, Massachusetts Is Available, but Long Waiting Lists Are Common.

Affordable Housing in Boston, Massachusetts Is Available, but Long Waiting Lists Are Common.

Affordable rent is hard to find in many cities across the United States. Now, we’re not talking about dirt cheap housing, but rather we mean decent, clean, affordable housing in a safe neighborhood.

We all know that there are some cities that traditionally have exceedingly high rent, like Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay area, Seattle, and New York City.

However, there are many other cities across the United States where the rent is so high that it's forcing middle and lower middle income people to try to find alternative housing solutions.

Some people are forced to live in substandard housing, and some others are even forced to live in their cars. Van dwelling is becoming a way of life for many Americans.

This issue with not having enough affordable housing for average people is really getting out of hand. But, fortunately, there are some cities across the United States that still offer affordable rental rates.

If you earn or can earn between $12 and $20 an hour, and you need to find permanent, affordable housing, keep reading.

We all know that housing is our biggest expense, so relocating to a different city for low rental rates (or affordable housing in general) might be a smart idea for some people.

Each of the cities in the list below is a hyperlink. When you click the link, you will be taken to a dedicated page for each city.

Each city’s page will highlight helpful information in case you might want to plan to relocat and take advantage of the affordable housing opportunities.

U.S. Cities With the Most Affordable Rent in 2017

Okay, folks, so here we go! Below is a list of the top 20 cities with affordable rent. This list was sourced from a study conducted by CNBC in 2017. Don’t forget to click the links to be taken to a city page for helpful relocation information:

  1. Toledo, Ohio: Average Rent = $550
  2. Memphis, Tennessee: Average Rent = $728
  3. Glendale, Arizona: Average Rent = $758
  4. Kansas City, Missouri: Average Rent = $885
  5. Lincoln, Nebraska: Average Rent = $907
  6. Indianapolis, Indiana: Average Rent = $937
  7. Tulsa, Oklahoma: Average Rent = $950
  8. Detroit, Michigan: Average Rent = $954
  9. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Average Rent = $967
  10. Tucson, Arizona: Average Rent = $970
  11. Aurora, Colorado: Average Rent = $971
  12. Columbus, Ohio: Average Rent = $981
  13. Omaha, Nebraska: Average Rent = $1,022
  14. Fresno, California: Average Rent = $1,079
  15. Albuquerque, New Mexico: Average Rent = $1,109
  16. Cincinnati, Ohio: Average Rent = $1,119
  17. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Average Rent = $1,137
  18. Tacoma, Washington: Average Rent = $1,138
  19. Mesa, Arizona: Average Rent = $1,153
  20. Phoenix, Arizona: Average Rent = $1,155

2021 Update!

The list of affordable cities to relocate to in the United States, unsurprisingly, doesn't look too much different than it did in 2017 when I first wrote this article.

A LOT has changed since 2017 and after the epic year we had in 2020, many people have seen how fragile life is and some of them have decided to take better control of their lives.

The decision to live one's best life sometimes includes moving to a city that is more affordable in order to save and invest more money for the future; with that being said, check out the following video where I showcase the 25 cheapest U.S. cities for renters...

I know it's tough out there to find a decent place to live that's both safe and affordable, so I wish you the very best of luck. If there is anything I can do for you, please don't hesitate to put the request in the comments.

Take care!

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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2018 Rachelle Williams


Rachelle Williams (author) from Tempe, AZ on May 13, 2020:

Hello Andy, I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Honestly, I believe your best course of action would be to call 211 in your local area, or try your hardest to rent something in your name before your landlord puts an eviction on your credit report, then you will really have a hard time getting anything; even if its just a 2 or even 1 bedroom apt somewhere, it's better than having to go to a hotel or worse, some kind of shelter and that's IF there is a shelter available. If worse comes to worst, Woodspring Suites has locations in your area (Phone: 754-600-3366), but that's literally just a studio that you'd be paying upwards of $275 a week, so your best bet is looking for an apartment to rent. I hope that helps.

Andy Andah on May 13, 2020:

Im looking for affordable housing for a family of 5 my landlord wants to evict us tried everything no help im very in need of a place to stay before we are homeless.l live in florida in broward county please can you help

Rachelle Williams (author) from Tempe, AZ on May 05, 2020:

Carissa, are you advertising a place for rent?

Mike Gotti on October 27, 2019:

Boston & Affordable housing?? Are you serious??? How could you even use that picture up top. It's like saying the Red Sox & Yankees are allies! Yeah the waiting list is a long one alright, I've been waiting 13 years also I know a woman who has been waiting since she was pregnant with her now adult daughter. Come on now at least get these facts in the ballpark somewhere. You want affordable housing in Massachusetts you literally need a 30k/yr salary, A side hustle to supplement your starvation then you need another side hustle if you want to have lights & heat in your place.

Mimi on October 07, 2019:

I need a place To live in the Boston north shore area. I am currently homeless and don’t know where to turn.

Keven on August 30, 2019:

Looking for temp motels bi weekly or by month for maybe 1 or 2 I'm in the brandy wine, waldof maryland need to be out in the next week or 2 please send any sugestions or locations .

Lashundra on April 24, 2019:

Hello I need to move as soon as possible in a biweekly or monthly hotel in the Memphis,Tn area

Tonya on April 15, 2019:

Hi! I need to move quickly into a weekly or monthly hotel thats least expensive in the DMV area

Rachelle Williams (author) from Tempe, AZ on April 15, 2019:

Where do you live in New Jersey?

Stacey on April 15, 2019:

I would like to find aweekly hotel in new jersey.

Rachelle Williams (author) from Tempe, AZ on April 07, 2019:

Hi Kathy,

There is an Intown Suites in Tamarac, I'm not sure if they've tried that one, but those hotels tend to be on the cheaper side of the weekly hotels, but they aren't the most luxurious, if you know what I mean: Address: 8191 W Commercial Blvd, Tamarac, FL 33351 - Phone: (844) 209-0446. Also, they might try reaching out to HOPE of S. Florida @ 954.563.4357 to see if they have resources that might be of help, I wish you all the best.

Kathy Williams on April 07, 2019:

I am trying to help find a place for my son and his girlfriend and two little boys. They have been staying in hotels since Feb of this year. It's been hard for them so I am trying to help. If they could find a place with a good weekly rate they could save and work on getting a apt. I thank you ahead of time for your help. We live in North Lauderdale Florida so I would like to keep them somewhat close.

Rachelle Williams (author) from Tempe, AZ on January 10, 2019:

You're most welcome! I hope it helps!

Sabana Siddique from India on December 14, 2018:

Nice info, thanks

Rachelle Williams (author) from Tempe, AZ on October 06, 2018:

Thanks for your support, Dora!

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on October 04, 2018:

Useful information. Thanks.

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