‘All my wage goes to the house’: A rental crisis brews in Greece

Al Jazeera English reports: The vast majority of Greeks who rent spend more than 40 percent of their disposable income on housing, and complain that properties are in poor condition.

A country’s housing cost overburden rate refers to the portion of the population that spends 40 percent or more of their disposable income on housing.

According to Eurostat, Greece has the highest rate among all European Union countries. In 2020, when the data was last available, Greek cities had a rate of 37 percent, followed by Bulgaria’s 14.4 percent.

But the situation for those who rent is even more challenging. More than 79 percent of renting households spend 40 percent or more of their disposable income on housing.

Although there are no official records on how things look today, it appears that the pandemic has weighed on many.

In a survey conducted between May 24 and June 3, 2022 by aboutpeople for Eteron, a Greek think-tank, about half of renters struggle or are unable to make rent, while 83.1 percent feel somewhat or very concerned about the current rental housing crisis.

Renters said they were mostly worried about expensive energy, high rent, difficulty finding property to rent, poor-quality housing and the lack of heating or cooling system in flats.

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