Very cheap houses for rent

Very cheap houses for rent DEFAULT

How to Find Cheap Homes for Rent

How to Find Cheap Homes for Rent

Image Credit: monkeybusinessimages/iStock/GettyImages

Jimmy McMillan, leader of the "The Rent is Too Damn High Party," struck something of a nerve with his 2012 candidacy for President. While McMillan was never a real contender for the office, that platform continues to reflect the feelings of millions of Americans in search of cheaper housing. Fortunately, you don't have to wait for politicians to act to find a better deal on a rental.

Research the Area

Start figuring out what "cheap" actually means in the city you plan to live in. In New York, $2,000 might be a great deal for a one-bedroom apartment. In other states, you could rent a whole house for $500. Dozens of websites track rental prices across the country and can be a resource in your housing search. Checking Rent Jungle, Rentometer, or Numbeo can give you a sense of what a "cheap" home rents for in your city.

Target Specific Neighborhoods

Rents can vary drastically from the neighborhood to neighborhood in the same city, so don't take a city-wide average as an absolute baseline. In New York City, for example, average rent in Tribeca tops $4,000, while rents in Astoria will run you around $1,700 as of this publication. If you're willing to live in a less desirable neighborhood, you'll find cheaper deals.

If you don't have kids, another great way to save is to live in an area with poor schools. According to the Brookings Institute, great schools can raise a home's value, and thus the rental price, by more than 100 percent. If good schools don't matter to you, you can save a bundle. By the same token, you can save on rent by living in an area with higher crime rates.

Checking the Listings

Once you've got a neighborhood in mind, start hunting for bargains. There are dozens of rental websites that can help, but Craigslist has the biggest market share and usually the most listings, according to SFGate. If you're not having much luck online, contact property management agencies in your area. Many landlords hire property management companies to find tenants and keep up with maintenance, so these agencies sometimes have lots of available rentals to show you.

Other Ways to Find Rentals

Some of the best housing deals are the hardest to find. The single most common way landlords advertise is a simple "for rent" sign in front of a property, according to Nolo. Small-time landlords who only own one or two rental homes may not advertise online or in newspapers, so driving or walking through the neighborhood is the best way to find their rentals. Alternatively, try driving or walking around a neighborhood you might like to live in. You should generate a few leads by spotting "for rent" signs. Another useful technique for finding these properties is word-of-mouth. Ask your friends and coworkers if they know anyone renting a home.

Negotiating the Lease

Once you have the perfect home in mind, you can save extra money by negotiating favorable lease terms. Some landlords may insist on sticking to the asking price, but others can be flexible for the right tenant. To negotiate effectively, show the landlord you'd make an ideal renter and be prepared to walk away if you can't get a better deal.


24 Most Affordable Cities to Live in for Renters – Find Cheap Housing

How much does your apartment cost? Your answer is likely to vary — a lot — depending on where you live.

According to RentJungle, the average San Francisco apartment rented for $3,357 per month in August 2020. If you follow the old rule of spending no more than 30% of your income on housing, you’d need to earn at least $134,280 per year to afford the average San Francisco apartment. That’s a tall order, even with the Bay Area’s relatively high incomes.

High rents disproportionately impact people on the lower end of the income scale. In a 2018 report, the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University found that nearly half of all renters are “cost-burdened” — basically, they’re forced to spend too much of their income on housing. In most metropolitan markets, especially expensive regions such as Southern California and South Florida, the vast majority of individual renters earning less than $15,000 per year are cost-burdened.

But these legitimate cost pressures aren’t everywhere. In many markets, apartments remain affordable, even for underemployed and part-time workers with tight budgets, limited or nonexistent savings, and little to no discretionary income.

If you live in an expensive coastal city like New York, Boston, or Seattle, these low-rent meccas are nowhere in sight. But they’re out there. The question is: Where?

Most Affordable U.S. Cities for Renters

Most affordable U.S. cities are far from the coasts. Typically, they are located in the Midwest, Mountain West, and South. Land in these areas tends to be cheaper, with more permissive zoning rules reducing the cost of building new housing and renovating or rehabilitating old housing.

To build this list, I crunched the numbers using exhaustive datasets from real estate intelligence companies like RentCafe and Yardi Matrix, then filtered the results to find the most affordable rental markets in the United States. As a benchmark, I used RentCafe’s data on the average apartment size at 30% of area median income — that is, the biggest apartment, on average, a median-income renter can expect to afford in each city without becoming cost-burdened. For reference, the median U.S. rent accounts for 29.1% of the average American household income, according to data from The Zebra.

Remember, these figures are averages. Some renters get more than the average amount of space without tipping over the 30% threshold. Others aren’t so lucky.

Bear in mind, also, that complex and volatile factors drive housing prices: local land use policies, economic conditions, housing quality, and demand, to name a few. In some seemingly affordable markets, especially in the industrial Midwest, a self-reinforcing cycle of economic stagnation and population outflows dampens housing demand. The fact that rents are low in these markets, where good-paying jobs tend to be scarce, doesn’t mean they’re necessarily desirable for working-age people — and especially not for younger folks craving cosmopolitan surroundings.

Still, many cities on this list have strong economies, diverse employers, great lifestyle amenities, and vibrant cultures. All are sizable, and many belong to relatively low-cost major metropolitan areas. If you crave big-city perks without the big-city cost of living, you know where to look.

One final note: Unless otherwise noted, unemployment figures are sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Economy at a Glance application, using figures for each city’s metropolitan area except where noted. Population figures are estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Pro tip: If you’re currently renting your home and don’t have renters insurance, make sure you get signed up today. You can get started with Lemonade for as little as $5 per month. You can also check out our list of the best renters insurance companies.

1. Gilbert, Arizona

Gilbert Arizona Church Night Time Latter Day Saints
  • Population: 248,279
  • Unemployment Rate: 10.3%
  • What You Get for 30% of Area Median Income: 1,174 square feet
  • Average Apartment Size: 962 square feet
  • Average Apartment Rent: $1,240 per month
  • Price Per Square Foot at Average Rent: $1.29 per month

Sprawling across the southeastern quadrant of the Valley of the Sun, as the Phoenix metropolitan area is known locally, Gilbert is a few ticks more affordable for renters than its parent city. If you’re relocating to Phoenix for reasons of career or climate, you can’t do better than Gilbert — although it’ll certainly help if you can find work in Gilbert or neighboring communities like Chandler, Tempe, or Scottsdale rather than drive 30 minutes each way (on a good day) to downtown Phoenix.

That shouldn’t be a problem. Tempe is home to Arizona State University, Scottsdale is a hub for the finance industry, and Chandler has multiple semiconductor firms within its borders. (Hydrophobic computer chips love the dry desert air.) Gilbert itself has a couple of big hospitals and a massive public school district. Other major employers in the Valley include the global headquarters or major regional offices for mining giant Freeport McMoran, pet retailer PetSmart, Honeywell’s aerospace division, and U-Haul.

If you’re new to the Valley, by no means should you limit your housing search to Gilbert. Despite rampant population growth, this remains a highly affordable region by national standards. In the Phoenix area, Scottsdale, Glendale, Mesa, Chandler, and Phoenix itself are all among the most affordable cities for U.S. renters.

2. Plano, Texas

Plano Texas Hot Air Balloon Festival
  • Population: 288,061
  • Unemployment Rate: 7.4%
  • What You Get for 30% of Area Median Income: 1,137 square feet
  • Average Apartment Size: 935 square feet
  • Average Apartment Rent: $1,278 per month
  • Price Per Square Foot at Average Rent: $1.37 per month

Plano is a rapidly growing suburban city about 20 miles northeast of Dallas. Routinely ranked among the safest and most family-friendly cities in the United States, it’s also among the most affordable for budget-conscious renters.

This is true despite Plano’s legendary attractiveness to major corporations. The city boasts more corporate headquarters than just about any other community of comparable size, in Texas or anywhere else. Among the household-name corporations calling Plano home are packaged foods behemoth Frito-Lay, Capital One Finance Corporation (which has a major branch office here), Toyota Motors North America, and Bank of America Home Loans. Plano has two major medical facilities within its borders, as well.

Like the Phoenix area, the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is a highly affordable place for renters — and homebuyers, but that’s another story. Both Garland to Plano’s immediate southeast and Irving just northwest of Dallas, about 25 miles from central Plano, rank among the cheapest places to rent without spending more than 30% of household income.

3. Virginia Beach, Virginia

Virginia Beach Sunrise 15th Street Pier
  • Population: 450,189
  • Unemployment Rate: 9.3%
  • What You Get for 30% of Area Median Income: 1,077 square feet
  • Average Apartment Size: 972 square feet
  • Average Apartment Rent: $1,176 per month
  • Price Per Square Foot at Average Rent: $1.21 per month

Virginia Beach is the largest city in Hampton Roads, a waterlogged but picturesque metropolitan area in Virginia’s southeastern corner. With the world’s longest uninterrupted pleasure beach, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, and a portion of the country’s largest naval complex, Virginia Beach lives something of a double life. Sun, sand, and serious military hardware manage to coexist here, notwithstanding the occasional hurricane.

Virginia Beach’s vast land area probably contributes to its overall affordability for renters. Away from the densely built beach, the city is a decentralized collection of low-density residential neighborhoods, low-rise commercial areas, parking lots, and green space. There’s plenty of room for Virginia Beach to grow. Thanks to its unmatched lifestyle amenities and defense-oriented economy, there’s little reason to think it won’t.

Hampton Roads isn’t uniformly affordable for renters; the region’s highly mobile population makes it easy enough for landlords to jack up rents when tenants change. But Virginia Beach isn’t the only city that makes the affordability cut. Nearby Chesapeake, vast swathes of which remain undeveloped, is nearly as budget-friendly as its neighbor.

4. North Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas North View Mountain Range Suburbs
  • Population: 245,949
  • Unemployment Rate: 16.4%
  • What You Get for 30% of Area Median Income: 1,033 square feet
  • Average Apartment Size: 958 square feet
  • Average Apartment Rent: $1,050 per month
  • Price Per Square Foot at Average Rent: $1.10 per month

North Las Vegas is another desert city with beautiful mountain views and a sprawling metro area. Located north of Las Vegas proper, it’s heavily reliant on the Las Vegas Valley’s famous gaming and entertainment industries, with many locals working for casinos, resorts, entertainment companies, and the various support businesses. However, the area is gaining regional recognition in the technology sector thanks to the availability of cheap land.

It’s worth noting that North Las Vegas was devastated by the housing collapse of the late 2000s, with the city’s comparatively low rents partially an artifact of that crisis. The city was hit hard again by the COVID-19 pandemic, which ground the region’s tourism industry to a halt during the second quarter of 2020. North Las Vegas has bounced back before and will again, but it’ll be a long road.

North Las Vegas shares affordability honors with a few other nearby cities:

  • Henderson, on the southwestern fringes of Las Vegas’ urban sprawl
  • Paradise, a centrally located community that’s home to much of the Las Vegas Strip
  • Las Vegas proper, covered in greater detail below

5. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City Usa Cityscape Bricktown Dusk
  • Population: 649,021
  • Unemployment Rate: 7.1%
  • What You Get for 30% of Area Median Income: 973 square feet
  • Average Apartment Size: 849 square feet
  • Average Apartment Rent: $754 per month
  • Price Per Square Foot at Average Rent: $0.89 per month

The capital of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City sprawls across three counties, making it the eighth-largest U.S. city by land area. The city’s housing market benefits from the seemingly inexhaustible supply of cheap, flat land surrounding the urban core. A strong economy has pushed developers to continue building new projects.

Although its economy is still reliant on energy and agriculture, Oklahoma City has largely freed itself from the destructive boom-and-bust cycles — fomented by volatile oil, gas, and cattle prices — that hampered its growth throughout much of the 20th century. Nevertheless, Oklahoma City is one of the few major cities situated atop an active oil field. Many residents earn income from oil and gas leases. The city is also home to Stockyards City, the world’s largest livestock market and a bona fide Old West tourist attraction.

Aside from livestock and energy, Oklahoma City’s economy relies on logistics, aerospace, finance, health care, and state government. The area’s largest employers include the State of Oklahoma, Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center, Integris Health, Hobby Lobby, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, and Chesapeake Energy Corporation. Tinker Air Force Base, located beyond the city limits, is a major economic anchor for the region as well.

6. Wichita, Kansas

Wichita Kansas Downtown Statue Water
  • Population: 389,255
  • Unemployment Rate: 10.9%
  • What You Get for 30% of Area Median Income: 965 square feet
  • Average Apartment Size: 792 square feet
  • Average Apartment Rent: $643 per month
  • Price Per Square Foot at Average Rent: $0.81 per month

Not far from the geographic center of the United States, Kansas’ largest city is amazingly affordable. Named for the Wichita people who lived in the area for centuries before the arrival of European settlers, modern Wichita is a diversified hub of industry, logistics, and services.

Although surrounded by farmlands, Wichita itself is heavily industrialized, historically one of the United States’ largest aircraft manufacturing hubs. Today, more than 50 aircraft companies and suppliers operate facilities in Wichita and surrounding communities.

Other major employers include Cargill Meat Solutions, energy and agribusiness conglomerate Koch Industries, outdoor recreation supplier Coleman Company, and roller coaster manufacturer Chance Morgan. Wichita State University and Wesley Medical Center employ thousands, adding much-needed diversity to the local economy.

Wichita’s signature annual event is the Wichita Riverfest, which attracts nearly 400,000 visitors each year.

7. Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tulsa Oklahoma Downtown Skyline
  • Population: 400,669
  • Unemployment Rate: 7.6%
  • What You Get for 30% of Area Median Income: 960 square feet
  • Average Apartment Size: 820 square feet
  • Average Apartment Rent: $685 per month
  • Price Per Square Foot at Average Rent: $0.84 per month

Despite its reputation as “the Buckle of the Bible Belt,” Tulsa is a surprisingly cosmopolitan city located in northeastern Oklahoma, at the edge of the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. Once an oil boomtown, Tulsa suffered mightily as the center of American energy production shifted west. Following a long period of economic stagnation in the late 20th century, the city has rebounded and diversified.

As the effects of climate change grow more pronounced and the world shifts away from carbon-intensive sources of energy, Tulsa is likely to further reduce its dependence on legacy oil and gas producers like Williams Companies, Syntroleum, and ONEOK. These days, Tulsans are more likely to work in aerospace or in the financial sector; American Airlines’ local maintenance facility is the largest aircraft maintenance hub in the world, and BOK Financial Corporation, a major regional bank, is headquartered here.

Tulsa’s signature event, the Tulsa State Fair, attracts nearly 1 million visitors during a 10-day period each fall. The city is also popular with foodies thanks to a distinctive style of barbecue that’s difficult to find outside northeastern Oklahoma. The city’s municipal park system, which features more than 100 parks and 6,000-plus acres of green space, is nationally recognized.

8. Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha Nebraska Downtown Holiday Lights
  • Population: 468,262
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.0%
  • What You Get for 30% of Area Median Income: 905 square feet
  • Average Apartment Size: 924 square feet
  • Average Apartment Rent: $905 per month
  • Price Per Square Foot at Average Rent: $0.98 per month

Located about an hour northeast of Lincoln, the state capital — and another affordable place for renters — Omaha is Nebraska’s largest city. The city began life as a cow town thanks to the massive Omaha Stockyards complex and nearby meatpacking plants, but it’s far more than that today. Modern Omaha is an insurance and railroad hub, a key center of finance and engineering, and the home of famed value investor Warren Buffett and his venerable conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway.

Other major Omaha employers include construction company Kiewit Corporation, Valmont Industries, Green Plains Renewable Energy, Mutual of Omaha, and Union Pacific Corporation. The city is rumored to be the birthplace of the Reuben sandwich and the ski lift — somewhat surprising given the surrounding area’s gentle topography. Omaha’s best-known annual event is the College World Series, which attracts tens of thousands of baseball fans every year.

9. Arlington, Virginia

Arlington Virginia Landscape Water Reflection
  • Population: 237,521
  • Unemployment Rate: 8.0%
  • What You Get for 30% of Area Median Income: 902 square feet
  • Average Apartment Size: 866 square feet
  • Average Apartment Rent: $2,149 per month
  • Price Per Square Foot at Average Rent: $2.48 per month

Arlington is a tiny county sandwiched between the Potomac River, the independent city of Alexandria, and the much larger county of Fairfax. Arlington is largely urban in character, with plenty of walkable neighborhoods and a fantastic public transportation system.

For outsiders — and plenty of locals too — Arlington’s relative affordability for renters is something of a mystery. It’s smack in the middle of the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area; the Washington Monument is visible from high points throughout the county. Local home values are steep, with single-family homes priced at double or triple the national median. And the region’s booming economy is about to kick into an even higher gear as Amazon opens a major East Coast hub inside the county limits.

The resulting influx of well-to-do techies may shatter Arlington’s affordable dream. For now, who’s to argue with an unabashed good thing? If you’re looking for a hip foothold in the D.C. area without D.C.-level rents, Arlington is it.

10. Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh North Carolina Usa Skyline
  • Population: 469,298
  • Unemployment Rate: 8.0%
  • What You Get for 30% of Area Median Income: 893 square feet
  • Average Apartment Size: 960 square feet
  • Average Apartment Rent: $1,164 per month
  • Price Per Square Foot at Average Rent: $1.21 per month

Raleigh is North Carolina’s state capital and second-largest city. As one of the fastest-growing cities in a fast-growing state, it’s emblematic of the economic vitality that’s drawn so many outsiders to this part of the country over the past few decades — yet it remains one of the best bargains for renters east of the Mississippi.

In part, Raleigh owes its appeal to a regional cluster of top-tier research universities. Together with the neighboring communities of Durham, Chapel Hill, and Cary, Raleigh anchors the famed Research Triangle, home to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University, and North Carolina State University. As one of the country’s top life sciences hubs, the Triangle draws from a global pool of scientific talent.

Numerically, Raleigh’s job market is driven by state government, education, and health care. Top private employers include Advance Auto Parts, First Citizens BancShares, Red Hat, and Waste Industries.

11. Columbus, Ohio

Columbus Ohio Skyline On River
  • Population: 892,533
  • Unemployment Rate: 8.2%
  • What You Get for 30% of Area Median Income: 878 square feet
  • Average Apartment Size: 885 square feet
  • Average Apartment Rent: $918 per month
  • Price Per Square Foot at Average Rent: $1.04 per month

Located in the geographical center of Ohio, Columbus is its state’s capital city and home to its flagship public university. (That’s The Ohio State University, for readers who couldn’t care less about college sports or Midwestern land grant universities.) Although Columbus is the biggest city in Ohio by population, the surrounding metropolitan area is only the state’s third largest.

Columbus has changed a lot over the years. Its first noteworthy industry was horse-drawn buggy manufacturing. Following the demise of the buggy business, the city quickly developed a more diversified manufacturing base, later expanding into professional services. Today, the city’s largest employers include Ohio State University, the state government of Ohio, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, Big Lots, Cardinal Health, Wendy’s, and Huntington Bancshares.

It’s worth noting that Ohio State University supports a vibrant startup economy — somewhat unusual in the industrial Midwest — and a diverse cultural scene to match. That means Columbus might just be Ohio’s best place to start a new business and hit the town after a long day at work, without paying coastal prices for drinks, food, or housing.

12. Fort Wayne, Indiana

Fort Wayne Dr Martin Luther King Jr Bridge Indiana
  • Population: 267,633
  • Unemployment Rate: 8.2%
  • What You Get for 30% of Area Median Income: 866 square feet
  • Average Apartment Size: 882 square feet
  • Average Apartment Rent: $760 per month
  • Price Per Square Foot at Average Rent: $0.86 per month

Once little more than a trading post on the American frontier, the arrival of the railroad transformed Fort Wayne into a thriving manufacturing hub. By the early 20th century, it was one of the most important manufacturing centers between Pittsburgh and Chicago, with companies such as General Electric and International Harvester employing thousands of residents.

Sadly, Fort Wayne’s manufacturing economy collapsed in the 1970s and ’80s, hollowing out the city’s middle class and dramatically lowering local wages, living standards, and morale. The city’s trajectory wasn’t unique, but it fell farther and faster than many other Midwestern manufacturing hubs. It’s taken decades for the local economy to dig out.

Lately, Fort Wayne has focused — with some success — on growing its logistics, health care, professional services, and defense exposures. That’s helped to put a floor under local housing prices while boosting median incomes relative to prevailing rents, which remain low due to modest demand and ample housing supply.

Major Fort Wayne-area employers include hardware brand Do It Best, North American Van Lines, Steel Dynamics, and Frontier Communications. The city’s signature annual event is the Johnny Appleseed Festival, which attracts some 300,000 visitors to the city park where the real-life John Chapman purportedly lies in repose.

13. Bakersfield, California

Bakersfield California Vista Preserve
  • Population: 383,579
  • Unemployment Rate: 16.5%
  • What You Get for 30% of Area Median Income: 862 square feet
  • Average Apartment Size: 861 square feet
  • Average Apartment Rent: $992 per month
  • Price Per Square Foot at Average Rent: $1.15 per month

Located near the southern terminus of California’s breadbasket, the Central Valley, Bakersfield is just over 100 miles north of central Los Angeles — less than two hours by car on a good day. Culturally and economically, Bakersfield couldn’t be more different from its bigger neighbor.

Unlike L.A., whose superficial glamour belies an endlessly diverse economy, Bakersfield is dominated by two industries: agriculture and energy. Indeed, Bakersfield — not Midland, Texas, or Williston, North Dakota — is the seat of the country’s most productive oil-producing county. The surrounding croplands are among the nation’s most fertile thanks to temperate winters, unquenchable sunshine, and vast groundwater reserves that remain adequate for now — although their eventual drawdown is virtually certain to provoke an environmental catastrophe like the one already in progress in far southern California’s Imperial Valley. Thanks to its sunny climate and persistent winds, Bakersfield is emerging as a major renewable energy hub, promising new sources of employment as the region’s fossil fuel industry declines.

Bakersfield is no paradise, though. Yes, Sequoia National Forest and the rest of the southern Sierra Nevada mountains lie within easy driving distance, providing welcome respite from the summer heat. But, come summer, the valley itself is dry, dusty, and forbidding. It’s also home to the curious fungal pathogen responsible for valley fever, a serious and potentially fatal illness that disproportionately affects agricultural workers and is likely to become more common as the Central Valley’s climate warms and dries.

Still, if you’re looking for an affordable foothold in sunny southern California and easy access to the high Sierras, Bakersfield is your best bet.

14. Greensboro, North Carolina

Greensboro North Carolina Le Bauer Park Night Downtown
  • Population: 294,722
  • Unemployment Rate: 10.3%
  • What You Get for 30% of Area Median Income: 858 square feet
  • Average Apartment Size: 937 square feet
  • Average Apartment Rent: $876 per month
  • Price Per Square Foot at Average Rent: $0.93 per month

Greensboro, the largest municipality in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, has lately seen more than its share of economic disruption. Greensboro was once a major seat of power for the tobacco industry; employment in that sector has declined precipitously since the late 20th century. Textile manufacturing was once a big business here too, but competition from cheaper markets such as Mexico and China has slowed production.

Still, Greensboro is doing quite well. The city is a regional hub for finance, logistics, health care, manufacturing, and high-tech research. Major employers in the area include Honda Aircraft, Volvo Trucks, Mack Trucks, Lincoln Financial Group, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, FedEx, and the United States Postal Service.

Winston-Salem, another Piedmont Triad city, deserves an honorable mention here as well. Greensboro and Winston, as it’s known locally, are well within commuting distance of one another, and the latter is only marginally less affordable for budget-conscious renters.

15. Corpus Christi, Texas

Corpus Christi Texas Downtown Skyline Water Front
  • Population: 326,554
  • Unemployment Rate: 10.0%
  • What You Get for 30% of Area Median Income: 845 square feet
  • Average Apartment Size: 849 square feet
  • Average Apartment Rent: $965 per month
  • Price Per Square Foot at Average Rent: $1.14 per month

Hundreds of miles from the renter-friendly suburbs of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Corpus Christi offers a breezier, slower-paced take on affordability. Among the United States’ most populous beach towns, only Virginia Beach can match Corpus Christi’s affordability. Miami this is not, although it’s nearly as warm — virtually frost-free, in fact, thanks to persistent warm breezes off the Gulf of Mexico.

Despite ample supplies of sun and sand, Corpus Christi is more than a year-round tourist destination. With the largest helicopter repair facility in the world, among other specialized facilities, Naval Air Station Corpus Christi is a major local employer. The adjacent civilian port is the country’s fifth-largest by volume, and the surrounding waters harbor extensive oil and gas reserves.

Corpus Christi’s Gulfside location is a double-edged sword. To say Corpus is hurricane-prone would be an understatement; the city’s stormwater management system can barely keep up with run-of-the-mill thunderstorms. Rising sea levels exacerbate the threat, as does beach and channel erosion caused by human activity. The good news for renters: Carrying flood insurance and cleaning up after storms are problems for your landlord.

16. Fremont, California

Fremont California Coyote Hills Regional National Park
  • Population: 237,807
  • Unemployment Rate: 12.0%
  • What You Get for 30% of Area Median Income: 843 square feet
  • Average Apartment Size: 831 square feet
  • Average Apartment Rent: $2,406 per month
  • Price Per Square Foot at Average Rent: $2.90 per month

A renter-friendly city in the San Francisco Bay Area? Really?

You’re not dreaming. Fremont isn’t exactly San Francisco; located in the southern East Bay or northern South Bay, depending on your preference, it’s much closer in context and character to San Jose. But it’s near enough to the heart of Silicon Valley to serve renters who can’t afford or justify impossibly high housing prices in exclusive communities like Palo Alto and Mountain View. Prevailing rents here are 30% to 40% lower than in communities right across the Bay — still pricey by national standards, but a steal compared with what’s next door.

For those not interested in testing the Bay Area’s reputation for long commutes, Fremont has a solid in-town employment base. Tesla, the electric car and battery manufacturer, employs thousands at a massive facility here; other major employers include hard disk manufacturer Western Digital, medtech firm Boston Scientific, data storage firm Seagate, and health giant Kaiser Permanente.

17. Jacksonville, Florida

Jacksonville Florida Usa Downtown City Skyline
  • Population: 903,889
  • Unemployment Rate: 7.4%
  • What You Get for 30% of Area Median Income: 838 square feet
  • Average Apartment Size: 966 square feet
  • Average Apartment Rent: $1,063 per month
  • Price Per Square Foot at Average Rent: $1.10 per month

Covering 747 square miles of land, Jacksonville is the largest U.S. city by land area and one of the dozen or so largest by population. Located in northeastern Florida’s First Coast region, Jacksonville has been inhabited by native peoples for thousands of years. It also housed some of the first permanent European settlements in the continental United States, established years before the British arrived in Massachusetts and Virginia.

Following the Civil War, Jacksonville has been an important hub for the U.S. Navy. And, since it’s one of the most affordable places in Florida, it has gained favor as a budget-friendly vacation town and retirement destination.

Jacksonville isn’t entirely about fun in the sun though. Lots of people work here, especially in the finance, logistics, and retail sectors. Major companies include CSX Corporation, Fidelity National Financial, Southeastern Grocers, Swisher International, RailAmerica, and the Port of Jacksonville. As in Virginia Beach, these workers have plenty of room to spread out thanks to Jacksonville’s seemingly endless hinterland, and new multifamily housing starts easily keep pace with the region’s rapidly growing population.

18. Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas Nevada Usa Night Hotels Water Fountain Scaled
  • Population: 644,644
  • Unemployment Rate: 16.4%
  • What You Get for 30% of Area Median Income: 820 square feet
  • Average Apartment Size: 894 square feet
  • Average Apartment Rent: $1,051 per month
  • Price Per Square Foot at Average Rent: $1.18 per month

Although it’s adjacent to North Las Vegas, Las Vegas earns a separate entry on this list by virtue of its central place in the public imagination.

Millions of people visit the Las Vegas Strip every year, it’s true. Many never venture beyond it. Because most of the Strip is actually located in the neighboring unincorporated towns of Winchester and Paradise, these less adventurous visitors may never actually set foot in Las Vegas proper.

They’re missing out. Beyond the Strip and the kitschy downtown casinos, Las Vegas looks much like any other large city in the southwestern United States, with tidy gated communities and Mission-style houses sprawling out toward the mountains rimming the valley.

Although tens of thousands of locals work in the hospitality, gaming, food service, and transportation industries, tech companies — anchored by online footwear retailing giant Zappos — have been growing as well. That’s putting the area on the radar for young, mobile professionals who have no interest in the gaming industry.

19. Lexington, Kentucky

Lexington Kentucky Horse Farm Blue Grass
  • Population: 323,780
  • Unemployment Rate: 5.5%
  • What You Get for 30% of Area Median Income: 810 square feet
  • Average Apartment Size: 901 square feet
  • Average Apartment Rent: $898 per month
  • Price Per Square Foot at Average Rent: $1.00 per month

Lexington is Kentucky’s second largest city. Despite Louisville’s claim to the Kentucky Derby, Lexington bills itself as the “horse capital of the world” thanks to the surrounding Bluegrass region’s deeply ingrained equestrian culture. It’s also a major educational center for the Mid-South, with the University of Kentucky and Transylvania University collectively educating tens of thousands of students each year.

Despite its agrarian roots, Lexington’s economy is diverse and surprisingly forward-looking. In addition to the University of Kentucky, major employers include UPS, Amazon, Trane, Toyota, IBM, Lockheed-Martin, Lexmark International, and crane manufacturer Link-Belt Construction Equipment. There’s plenty of affordable rental housing to go around, both in the student-heavy urban core and the suburban apartment communities ringing it.

20. Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis Tennessee Blues Club Beale Street
  • Population: 650,618
  • Unemployment Rate: 13.0%
  • What You Get for 30% of Area Median Income: 806 square feet
  • Average Apartment Size: 910 square feet
  • Average Apartment Rent: $788 per month
  • Price Per Square Foot at Average Rent: $0.86 per month

Downtown Memphis is perched on a bluff above the Mississippi River, and the city spreads outward in three directions from there. Many outlying communities in the Memphis metropolitan area, including portions of northern Mississippi and eastern Arkansas, are even more affordable than Memphis proper, although crossing the river daily can be a chore for commuters.

Although the region’s economy has seen its share of ups and downs, it’s built on a solid base that includes the global headquarters of AutoZone, FedEx, and International Paper. Other major Memphis-area employers include Cargill Cotton, American Residential Services, Carrier, Merck, and Medtronic.

Memphis is known as a bastion of barbecue and music — locals brag about the distinctive Memphis style. The Memphis International Jazz Festival and Beale Street Music Festival are world-renowned. Nearby Graceland is a magnificent tribute to Elvis Presley and the musical genres he spawned. Memphis also hosted consequential events of the civil rights movement, including the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

21. El Paso, Texas

El Paso Texas Desert Mountains Sunrise Rocky
  • Population: 682,669
  • Unemployment Rate: 8.7%
  • What You Get for 30% of Area Median Income: 800 square feet
  • Average Apartment Size: 814 square feet
  • Average Apartment Rent: $770 per month
  • Price Per Square Foot at Average Rent: $0.95 per month

Located in the westernmost corner of Texas, arid El Paso holds down the United States’ portion of the El Paso-Juarez metropolitan area, also known as Paso del Norte. With nearly 3 million residents, Paso del Norte is the largest contiguous urban area bisected by the U.S.-Mexico border.

First-time visitors to Paso del Norte are invariably shocked by the region’s economic and cultural cohesiveness. Indeed, the border is a real economic asset that has, over time, transformed the region a major hub for international trade and manufacturing. El Paso is the largest U.S. port of entry on the Mexico border, surpassing the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa crossings near San Diego. Although drug cartel violence is a legitimate concern on the Juarez side of the border, El Paso is safer than most similarly sized U.S. cities, with a friendly, close-knit vibe that makes it feel much smaller than its 700,000 souls.

Many El Paso residents work in the public sector. Fort Bliss, a massive military base near the city, is a major pillar of the economy. So are the local public school districts, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, the City of El Paso, the County of El Paso, and the University of Texas at El Paso. Major private sector employers include Automatic Data Processing, DISH Network, University Medical Center, Western Refining, and Helen of Troy Limited — the parent company of recognizable consumer brands such as Dr. Scholl’s and OXO.

22. Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Missouri Cityscape Skyline
  • Population: 491,918
  • Unemployment Rate: 7.6%
  • What You Get for 30% of Area Median Income: 798 square feet
  • Average Apartment Size: 899 square feet
  • Average Apartment Rent: $979 per month
  • Price Per Square Foot at Average Rent: $1.09 per month

Kansas City is the anchor of a major metropolitan area straddling the Kansas and Missouri borders. Thanks to its central location within the continental United States, Kansas City is a major logistics hub and a central operation for the federal government. In fact, more than 100 federal agencies have a presence in the city and its suburbs, including the Internal Revenue Service, the National Nuclear Security Administration, the General Services Administration, and the Social Security Administration. When it arrived in the 20th century, the federal employment base provided valuable stability in an agricultural region previously prone to economic boom-and-bust cycles.

Aside from the federal government, Kansas City’s employment base includes heavy manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and agriculture. Ford and General Motors both have major manufacturing plants here. So does Honeywell, whose Kansas City facility manufactures non-nuclear components for the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal. Sanofi-Aventis, a pharmaceutical giant, has an important research facility that focuses on animal health. Dairy Farmers of America, one of the country’s largest agricultural cooperatives, is headquartered in the area as well.

23. Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis Indiana Skyline Canal
  • Population: 867,125
  • Unemployment Rate: 7.7%
  • What You Get for 30% of Area Median Income: 797 square feet
  • Average Apartment Size: 879 square feet
  • Average Apartment Rent: $858 per month
  • Price Per Square Foot at Average Rent: $0.98 per month

Fondly known as the “Crossroads of America” or simply “Indy,” Indianapolis is conveniently located within a day’s drive of many of the United States’ largest cities, including New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Chicago.

Unsurprisingly, Indy is a major manufacturing and logistics hub. The area is home to three Fortune 500 companies: Anthem, Simon Property Group, and Eli Lilly and Company. Other major companies with global headquarters or large facilities include Republic Airways Holdings, Finish Line, Calumet Specialty Products Partners, and Allison Transmission Holdings. In the Great Lakes region, Indy’s thriving startup economy — helped along by the region’s high quality of life and low cost of living — is second only to Chicago’s.

Indianapolis has a vibrant, diverse culture too. Its best-known event is the annual Indianapolis 500 auto race — by some measures the world’s largest single-day sporting event. Indy has also hosted the Super Bowl and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament — not surprising given it’s the home to the NCAA headquarters, the governing body for collegiate athletics in the United States.

24. Lincoln, Nebraska

Lincoln Nebraska Orange Sunrise
  • Population: 287,401
  • Unemployment Rate: 5.0%
  • What You Get for 30% of Area Median Income: 796 square feet
  • Average Apartment Size: 943 square feet
  • Average Apartment Rent: $959 per month
  • Price Per Square Foot at Average Rent: $1.02 per month

Nebraska’s second-largest city is the state capital and home of the flagship campus of the University of Nebraska, the region’s third-largest employer. Unsurprisingly, the local culture is heavily influenced by the university and its huge student population. College football is the unquestioned regional pastime here; Husker fans are near-religious in their fervor.

In addition to the university, the State of Nebraska, Lincoln Public Schools, and several regional health care companies provide a solid, stable base of employment. Lincoln isn’t the most glamorous, beautiful, or exciting city in the world, but it’s affordable, friendly, and close-knit — a great place for newly arrived renters to find their feet and make a go of things.

Final Word

The old cliche about every real estate market being different holds true. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see stark differences across fairly short distances. I live in Minneapolis, where 30% of area median income nets 465 square feet — pretty cozy by American standards. In neighboring St. Paul, just across the Mississippi River, 30% of area median income is good for about 544 square feet — not a vast difference, to be sure, but certainly more breathing room.

The relative priciness of Minneapolis rental housing wound up the deciding factor in my family’s decision to buy a house in an up-and-coming Minneapolis neighborhood. Compared with nearby rental housing, the place seemed like a steal, and we reasoned that the area’s owner-occupied housing values had more room to run. Had we been looking for housing in a more affordable metro for renters, we surely would have thought more carefully about whether to rent or buy.

  1. Places to stay in shreveport
  2. Nissan versa note 2014 transmission
  3. Webassign physics answers key pdf
  4. Izotope product portal not working
  5. Gulf stream bt cruiser rv

Find Affordable Rental Housing

Learn about government programs that help low-income people find affordable rental housing. Each of the programs - subsidized housing, public housing, and housing choice vouchers - is different. Get the details on how they work, who is eligible, and how to apply.

Find Affordable Rental Housing

People with low income tooltipLow Income: a total family income that’s no more than the Section 8 low-income limit established by HUD. Individuals are considered one-person families., seniors tooltipSenior: for housing benefit eligibility purposes, a person who is 62 or older., and people with disabilities tooltipPerson with a Disability: a person whose physical or mental impairment substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as eating or walking. may qualify for help from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to get affordable rental housing. HUD doesn't own rental property. It gives money to states and building owners, who in turn provide low-income housing opportunities.

Get Personalized Help with Your Search

Find a HUD-approved housing counselor in your area online or call 1-800-569-4287 to find a local housing counseling agency tooltipHousing Counseling Agency: an organization with experts who provide advice on buying a home, renting, avoiding mortgage default (missing a payment) and foreclosure, and credit issues.. The counselor may be from a non-profit organization approved to offer advice on housing assistance.

Search by Type of Program

There are three main types of affordable rental housing that are supported by HUD:

  • Privately owned, subsidized housing in which landlords are paid by the government to offer reduced rents to low-income tenants. Search for an apartment and apply directly at the rental management office.
  • Public Housing provides affordable rental houses or apartments for low-income families, people who are elderly, and people with disabilities. To apply, contact a public housing agency in your state.
  • Housing Choice Voucher Program in which you find a rental property yourself, and use the voucher to pay for all or part of the rent. To apply, contact a public housing agency in your state.

If you have trouble contacting your local public housing agency, contact your local HUD field office for help.

If you're a landlord, learn how you can participate in the Housing Choice Voucher Program.

COVID-19 Rental Assistance

The government COVID-19 eviction moratorium has ended. Landlords now have the ability to evict renters who are not able to pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a renter or as a landlord, government programs can help you with rent money and advice for your situation.

Emergency Rental Assistance Program for Renters and Landlords

Renters and landlords, use the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) database from the Treasury Department to find rental assistance from state, local, territorial, and tribal programs.

Get Advice for Renters from a Housing Counselor

Learn How to Avoid Eviction as a Renter

Learn how to avoid eviction and how to make a payment plan with your landlord.

Find Emergency Housing

If you are going to be evicted and need emergency housing, call 211 for local housing help or search using HUD's Find Shelter tool.

Recover Back Rent as a Landlord

Learn how to recover back rent and find out about mortgage forbearance for your property if you are a landlord.

Housing Choice Voucher Program (Formerly Section 8)

Find out how the Housing Choice Voucher Program can help you pay for rental housing. Get information about eligibility requirements, how you can apply, and where to file housing complaints.  

Learn About the Housing Choice Voucher Program

The Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly known as Section 8) is a program from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It helps families with a low income, seniors, and people with disabilities pay for rental housing.

You can find your own housing, including single-family homes, townhouses, and apartments. Housing Choice vouchers can pay for all or part of the rent.

Housing Choice Voucher Eligibility

Your local public housing agency (PHA) decides if you are eligible for a Housing Choice voucher based on:

  • Your annual gross income

  • Whether you qualify as a family, a senior, or a person with a disability

  • U.S. citizenship or eligible immigration status

  • Your family's size

  • Other local factors

In general, your family's income may not exceed 50% of the median income for the county or metropolitan area.

Each state or city may have different eligibility rules for housing programs. Contact your local PHA to learn about your eligibility for Housing Choice vouchers.

How to Apply for a Housing Choice Voucher

  • To apply for a Housing Choice voucher, contact a public housing agency in your state. If you need more assistance, contact your local HUD office.

  • You will need to fill out a written application or have a representative of your local PHA help you.

  • The PHA representative will collect information on your family size, income, and assets.

  • The PHA will check this information with other local agencies, your employer, and your bank. This helps them decide if you qualify and how much assistance you'll get.

  • The amount of assistance you may get is adjusted so you can afford a moderately-priced rental in your area.

  • The housing you choose must meet health and safety standards before the PHA can approve the unit.

  • After you've been approved for a voucher and found a place to rent, the PHA will inspect the rental before you sign your lease. These inspections are performed so the PHA can be sure the property is worth the rental price.   

Check the Status of Your Housing Choice Voucher Application

If you qualify for a Housing Choice voucher, the PHA will put your name on a waiting list. They will contact you when it's your turn to receive a voucher.

Get Help With Your Housing Choice Voucher Application

Since the demand for housing assistance is usually greater than the resources available, you may wait a long time to get on a list and to get a voucher. 

Being approved for a voucher in one city or state does not guarantee you'll be approved somewhere else.

How to Get Help Paying Rent

If you need help paying your rent, contact your state housing finance agency or your local public housing agency office. You may qualify for government programs to get help with your rent payments.

Contact your state human or social service agency:

  • If you need immediate, emergency assistance

  • To find out what other help may be available for you locally 

Even if you don't qualify for rental assistance through these agencies, they may be able to refer you to a community organization that can help. You may also search for and contact community or nonprofit organizations in your area. They may help you directly or offer you referral information.

Housing Assistance for Veterans

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers the HUD-VASH for homeless veterans. It combines HUD housing vouchers with VA supportive services. 

And a new VA program, the Shallow Subsidy initiative, offers a fixed rental subsidy to low-income vets for up to two years. 

Housing Assistance for Seniors

The Eldercare Locator is a free service that can connect you with resources and programs designed to help seniors in your area.

Rural Housing Assistance

Local Rural Development (RD) offices can help rural residents through the Rural Housing Service.

Public Housing

Find out about public housing, including what it is, whether you're eligible, how to apply, and whom to contact if you have a complaint.

Learn About Public Housing

Public housing is state-owned, affordable rental houses or apartments. It's intended for families with low incomes, seniors, and people with disabilities. Found nationwide, public housing comes in all sizes and types, from single-family houses to high rise apartments. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers the program.

Since the demand for public housing is often larger than the amount of housing available to HUD and the local PHA, long waiting periods are common. A PHA may close its waiting list when there are more families on the list than can be assisted in the near future.

Public Housing Eligibility

Your local public housing agency (PHA) will determine your eligibility for public housing based on:

  • Your annual gross income

  • Whether you qualify as a senior, a person with a disability, or a family

  • U.S. citizenship or eligible immigration status

  • Other local factors

PHAs use income limits developed by HUD. The lower income limit is 80% and very low income limit is 50% of the median income for the county or metropolitan area where you want to live.

Because income limits and eligibility requirements vary from area to area, you may be eligible in one state, city, or county but not in another. Contact your local PHA to learn about your eligibility for:

  • Federal and local public housing programs

  • Housing Choice vouchers

  • Rental assistance

  • Subsidized housing

Apply for Public Housing

To apply, contact your local PHA. Here’s what you can expect during the application process.

Either you or a PHA representative will fill out your written application. Your PHA usually needs to collect the following information to determine eligibility:

  • Names of all people who would be living in the unit, their sex, date of birth, and relationship to the family head

  • Your present address and telephone number

  • Conditions that might help your family's reception into the program more quickly, including:

    • Veteran status

    • Current residency in substandard housing

  • Names and addresses of your current and previous landlords to verify your family's suitability as a tenant

  • An estimate of your family's income for the next 12 months and the sources of that income

  • The names and addresses of employers, banks, and others to verify your income, deductions, and family composition

Someone from your PHA may visit you in your home to interview you and your family members to see how you manage the upkeep of your current home.

After collecting this information, the PHA representative should describe the public housing program. They'll go over its requirements and answer any questions you may have.

A PHA representative will ask for documents including birth certificates and tax returns. The PHA uses these documents to verify the information on your application. The PHA may also talk to your employer and your other references. You will be asked to sign a form to authorize the release of information to the PHA.

Check the Status of Your Public Housing Application

Your PHA has to provide written notification of your application's status. If the PHA determines you're eligible, your name will be put on a waiting list. Once it's your turn, the PHA will contact you.

Get Help With Your Public Housing Application

Contact your local PHA for help with a public housing application or more information about housing programs. If you need further assistance, contact your local HUD branch office.  

For information about any housing question, contact the PIH Customer Service Center.

File a Public Housing Complaint

If you need to file a complaint about your local PHA, contact the PIH Customer Service Center.

If you feel that you have been a victim of housing discrimination, file a housing discrimination complaint.

Identify and Complain about Housing Discrimination

Housing discrimination happens when a housing provider gets in the way of a person renting or buying housing because of their

  • Race or color
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • National origin
  • Familial status (such as having children)
  • Disability

A housing provider that discriminates against someone could be a landlord or a real estate management company. It could also be a lending institution like a bank or other organization that aids in the homebuying process.

Housing discrimination is prohibited by the Fair Housing Act. Discrimination covered by the Act can take many forms beyond just raising prices or lying about availability. For example, the Act addresses wheelchair access in some newer properties. Learn what the Fair Housing Act covers, how to complain, and how the investigation process works.

File a Housing Discrimination Complaint

If you think you have experienced housing discrimination,

LGBTQ Discrimination

The Fair Housing Act does not specifically prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. But discrimination against someone who is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ) may still be in violation of the Act or other state or local regulations. If you think you've been discriminated against based on sexual orientation or gender identity, file a complaint as described above.

Share This Page:

Do you have a question?

Ask a real person any government-related question for free. They'll get you the answer or let you know where to find it.

Last Updated: September 20, 2021


Homes For Rent

  • Private House With Balcony

    3 Beds• 4 Baths• 2,433 Sq. Ft.

    Charlotte, NC 28277

  • Remodeled 2-Bedroom House In Grier Heights

    2 Beds• 2 Baths• 935 Sq. Ft.

    Charlotte, NC 28205

  • Upgraded 3-Bedroom House In Williams Station

    3 Beds• 2 Baths• 1,853 Sq. Ft.

    Matthews, NC 28105

  • 1-Story House In Field Of Dreams

    4 Beds• 2 Baths

    Grifton, NC 28530

  • Apartment In Charlotte

    1-3 Beds• 800-1,380 Sq. Ft.

    Charlotte, NC 28212

  • Apartment In Midway East

    1-3 Beds• 927-1,341 Sq. Ft.

    Kannapolis, NC 28083

  • Condo In Harwood Lane

    3 Beds• 3 Baths• 1,480 Sq. Ft.

    Charlotte, NC 28214

  • 4-Bedroom House In Somerset

    4 Beds• 3 Baths

    Raeford, NC 28376

  • House In Ballantyne East

    2 Beds• 2 Baths• 1,381 Sq. Ft.

    Charlotte, NC 28277

  • 3-Bedroom House In Ballantyne East

    3 Beds• 3 Baths• 1,975 Sq. Ft.

    Charlotte, NC 28277

  • House In Ballantyne East

    2 Beds• 2 Baths• 1,274 Sq. Ft.

    Charlotte, NC 28277

  • Private House With Balcony

    3 Beds• 3 Baths• 2,104 Sq. Ft.

    Charlotte, NC 28277

  • House In Braemar

    4 Beds• 2 Baths• 2,265 Sq. Ft.

    Burlington, NC 27215

  • Renovated 2-Bedroom House In Atlantic

    2 Beds• 2 Baths• 1,014 Sq. Ft.

    Raleigh, NC 27604

  • House In Southmont

    2 Beds• 1 Bath• 1,000 Sq. Ft.

    Greensboro, NC 27406

  • Sours:

    Houses rent for cheap very

    The Cheapest Cities for Renters in America

    When thinking about the cities with the cheapest rent in America, you probably aren't thinking about New York. In fact, former mayoral candidate Jimmy McMillan once famously declared, “The rent is too damn high." But head away from the big cities and you'll find plenty of cheap places to rent.

    So just where are these places with the cheapest rent in America? As expected, the cheapest cities for renters are away from the coasts and metropolises, in suburbs and tucked-away cities and mostly concentrated in Southern states.

    In this report:

    Where to find the cheapest rent in America

    These budget-friendly burbs are home to America's most affordable apartments. And out of nearly 1,350 cities in the nation with 50 or more rental units, only these ten cheap places to rent offer an average one-bedroom unit under $570.

    Here are the 10 cheapest places to rent in America.

    10. Pineville, LA

    pineville la apartment

    Source: Apartment Guide / Pine Trace Apartments
    • Average 1-BR rent price: $565
    • Rent change over the past year: 0.00%

    More than 100,000 screaming football fans filling Tiger Stadium, the eighth largest in the world. That's the scene each fall Saturday in Baton Rouge. But what if it weren't in Baton Rouge? Did you know that for its first decade, Louisiana State University was not in the State Capitol, but instead 100 miles up the road in tiny Pineville?

    A city of 14,000, Pineville sits across the Red River from Alexandria as its largest suburb. Pineville is an important medical community, home to Central Louisiana State Hospital, Pinecrest Services Center, Huey P. Long Memorial Hospital and the Alexandria VA Center. It's also the site of Alexandria National Cemetery, home to 1,400 Civil War buried casualties. And while no LSU, Southern Baptist-founded Louisiana College is in Pineville, along with 7,000-seat Wildcat Football Field.

    One of several Louisiana towns on the list of cheapest rent in America, rental rates in Pineville stayed at identical levels from 12 months ago. A one-bedroom apartment runs an average of $565 monthly.

    Fun Fact: Pineville is the location of the Louisiana Maneuvers Museum. This facility honors the U.S. Army training exercises held nearby prior to World War II. Some of the nearly half-million troops trained here included Dwight Eisenhower, George Patton and Omar Bradley.

    9. Russellville, AR

    Large body of water next to a power plant releasing smoke into the air, surrounded by green trees and blue skies.

    • Average 1-BR rent price: $559
    • Rent change over the past year: 5.60%

    Hunkered down between the massive Ozark and Ouachita National Forests, Russellville sits inside the river valley along the Arkansas River and Lake Dardanelle near northwest Arkansas. The city houses just 28,000 residents, many of whose lives and livelihoods center on either the 10,000-enrollment Arkansas Tech University or Arkansas Nuclear One nuclear power plant, the only such facility in the state.

    Despite its small size, there is much happening in Russellville. The city offers a lively music and arts scene with a monthly downtown Art Walk which features local galleries, live music and wine tastings, and the Pope County Fairgrounds which bring over 50,000 fans to the annual county fair.

    Like much of Arkansas, rents in Russellville are severely affordable. An average one-bedroom unit leases for a monthly rate of just $559, up 5.6 percent from last year.

    Fun Fact: The men's athletic teams from Arkansas Tech are called the Wonder Boys. But in 1975, the women athletes of ATU, tired of being referred to as the Wonder Girls or Wonderettes, voted themselves the new non-gendered nickname Golden Suns, becoming one of just nine current NCAA schools where the men's and women's teams have unrelated nicknames.

    8. Leesville, LA

    leesville la cheap places to rent

    Source: Apartment Guide / Chaparral Apartment Homes
    • Average 1-BR rent price: $552
    • Rent change over the past year: -4.85%

    On the extreme western border of Louisiana along the Sabine River is the Parish of Vernon. And the Parish seat is the key city of Leesville. Leesville is a town of 6,600 just 16 miles from the East Texas border but is still the third-largest in the DeRidder/Fort Polk South region.

    Leesville is an important military town, dating back to the Civil War and the nearby "Confederate Breast Works" armory. Then in 1941, Fort Polk opened on the south end of town, becoming a major U.S. Army training camp during World War II. During this time, the population of Leesville boomed and its economy shifted as Fort Polk eventually became the fifth largest military facility in the nation.

    To serve all those residents, Leesville offers a number of recreational sites. Leesville Art Park features a number of sculptures and outdoor art installations. The Edmond Ellison Smart House is the home of Leesville founder Edmond Ellison Smart. And the Museum of West Louisiana houses exhibits including a collection of paintings by German prisoners of war housed at Fort Polk during World War II.

    Leesville is a getaway and civilian housing town for one of America's great military bases. Thankfully, lease prices here are cheap. An average one-bedroom unit rents for just $552, nearly 5 percent less than a year ago.

    Fun Fact: For 15 years at the start of the 19th century, Leesville was part of Louisiana's Neutral Ground territory. Because of a border dispute between the U.S. and Spain, parts of the state along the Sabine were outside the jurisdiction of either country. The lack of police or military in the region allowed it, and the town, to become a haven for outlaws.

    7. Greenville, TX

    An old church building with ivy growing on it. The building is red with stained glass windows.

    • Average 1-BR rent price: $551
    • Rent change over the past year: 4.67%

    The county seat and largest city in Hunt County, Greenville, Texas, sits on the outskirts of the massive Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. While the commute to downtown Dallas is just an hour, the city benefits from being far removed from the hustle of both the big city and the crowded North Texas mega suburbs like Plano and Irving.

    That doesn't mean Greenville is some sleepy burgh. The city features a major L3 Technologies facility, a 50-arrival per day general aviation airport that formerly trained World War II fighter pilots, a downtown winery, a vintage theater, the Audie Murphy American Cotton Museum and a Splash Kingdom Waterpark location.

    Considering its convenience to the best of big city life while maintaining its small-town feel, its average rent of $551 a month for a one-bedroom apartment isn't just cheap, it's a downright steal. And that's even with a nearly 5 percent increase in price from 12 months prior.

    Fun Fact: Early in the 20th century, Greenville was known as the “Cotton Capital of the World." The city was home to the largest inland cotton compress on the planet, which was eventually destroyed by fire.

    6. Brusly, LA

    brusly la apartment cheap places to rent

    Source: Apartment Guide / Riverside Village Apartments
    • Average 1-BR rent price: $545
    • Rent change over the past year: 0.00%

    The third of the four Bayou State communities in our top 10, Brusly is a small sliver of a town on the Mississippi. Just downriver from Downtown Baton Rouge, Brusly sits on the shore opposite Louisiana State University. The town of 2,500 is a rectangle three miles long but just a half-mile wide.

    Brusly is a small bedroom community for Baton Rouge. The suburb is nearly entirely residential, split down a central flood control channel along its spine. Several rental properties live alongside mostly single-family homes.

    A small commercial district lies along Louisiana Highway 1 and its service road Vaughan Drive. This includes mostly independent and chain restaurants along with banks, service merchants and a sports bar. Alexander Park offers a number of ballfields and a batting cage.

    Fun Fact: The first skatepark in West Baton Rouge Parish opened in Brusly in 2015. The $70,000 park opened in response to the lack of available facilities in the wake of the Parish's no-skate zone regulations. It includes several ramps, funboxes and handrails.

    5. Texarkana, AR

    A sign marking the state line of Texas and Arkansas.

    • Average 1-BR rent price: $542
    • Rent change over the past year: 0.78%

    One of the most famous twin cities in the nation, Texarkana, Arkansas — as its name suggests — sits just across State Line Avenue from the slightly-larger Texarkana, Texas. Early in its history, Texarkana — the Arkansas side — was part of a battle with the independent Republic of Texas for land, as the two nations fought over the placement of their borders. Coming of age as a rail and lumber hub, today the city's economy centers around agricultural processing, sales and service.

    While a distinct city from its neighbor across the border with its own mayor and own government, the twin cities share one courthouse, one federal building, one jail and one post office, among other services. But it's on the Arkansas side where the living is easy, with a one-bedroom apartment renting for just $542 a month on average.

    Fun Fact: While most know the city name Texarkana is a portmanteau of Texas and Arkansas, few realize the moniker is actually a triple portmanteau, with the “-ana" ending referencing Louisiana, just 30 miles away.

    4. Pascagoula, MS

    Sandy shoreline on the coast of Mississippi.

    • Average 1-BR rent price: $539
    • Rent change over the past year: 7.11%

    Imagine spending your days in a beautiful city along the stunning northern Gulf Coast. A spot halfway between Biloxi and Mobile, halfway between Gulfport and Pensacola. Gorgeous bays and sunny beaches. Spring breakers, golfers and sun-seekers. Now imagine paying just $539 a month for an average one-bedroom apartment. That's Pascagoula on Mississippi's Gulf Coast.

    Pascagoula sits along the Pascagoula River out of Pascagoula Bay. Just like much of the northern Gulf Coast, the energy and shipbuilding industries are key to the local economy. Owned by Huntington Ingalls Industries, Ingalls Shipbuilding is Mississippi's largest private, single-site employer. Dating back to 1938, Ingalls is the U.S. Navy's leading ship producer. Just to its south is the former Naval Station Pascagoula. Also, on the east side of town is Chevron Pascagoula Refinery, the energy company's largest in the world.

    Along with its industry, Pascagoula features two miles of beachfront, 26 parks, four boat launches and a private yacht club. Culture is everywhere, including LaPointe-Krebs House & Museum and Mississippi Maritime Museum. It also offers bustling commercial districts along Denny Avenue and Market Street.

    While apartment prices did increase by about 7 percent since last year, this area is still one of the most favorable, and cheapest, places to rent in America.

    Fun Fact: In 1973, Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker reported to county sheriffs in Pascagoula that they were abducted by aliens while fishing off a pier. The two claimed they were abducted by robot-mouthed, crab-handed aliens who took them aboard their spaceship and examined them. Each had puncture wounds in their arms and both passed lie detector tests and hypnosis questioning. Police stated they believed them. Today, the Pascagoula Abduction is honored with an historical marker.

    3. Marion, IN

    Old historic building with empty parking spots in Marion, Indiana. cheap places to rent

    • Average 1-BR rent price: $533
    • Rent change over the past year: -0.21%

    Sure, Marion is the home of Indiana Wesleyan, the largest private university in Indiana. Yeah, Marion High School has won eight state basketball championships in this hoops-crazy state. Proudly, Marion is the site of one of just six branches of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, assisting veterans from across the nation for 150 years. But the one thing that may have put Marion on the map was the 1993 wedding of Julia Roberts and Lyle Lovett that took place at Marion's St. James Lutheran Church on the way to Lovett's tour date in Indianapolis.

    But you don't have to be a country star or Hollywood starlet to enjoy life in Marion. A city of nearly 30,000, Marion sits equidistant from Indianapolis and Fort Wayne. It's a bustling county seat on the Mississinewa River. Downtown along the river is the 2.75-mile Mississinewa Riverwalk, a hiking and biking trail that transforms each holiday season into the Christmas City Walkway of Lights with over 2 million lights.

    Downtown also offers a number of shops and restaurants, parks, trails and even the Quilters Hall of Fame. Further west of the river is the commercial corridor along Baldwin and Western Avenues, lined with chain eateries, big box stores and service merchants leading up to the University.

    Marion is the cheapest large city (over 20,000) in the entire United States for renters. An average one-bedroom apartment rents for just $533 a month.

    Fun Fact: Julia Roberts wasn't the only Hollywood icon to darken the doorways of Marion. Actor James Dean was born in the city, and a memorial sits at his birth site. Cartoonist Jim Davis, creator of “Garfield," also called Marion home.

    2. Patterson, LA

    White sign that says Welcome to Patterson, Louisiana.

    Photo source: City-Data
    • Average 1-BR rent price: $485
    • Rent change over the past year: 0.00%

    On a bayou, 75 miles from New Orleans and a dozen miles from the Gulf, is the small marshy town of Patterson. The community, founded by Pennsylvania Dutch resettlers, was originally named Dutch Settlement, then Dutch Prairie, then Dutch Town, until Captain John Patterson arrived in 1832. Patterson opened the town's first commercial business, established a post office and the town was renamed after him.

    A century later, the aircraft industry came to town. It started when Patterson resident and millionaire Harry Williams and aerospace engineer Jimmy Wedell founded Wedell-Williams Air Service Corporation in Patterson. They then opened a factory in town and engineered a number of early aircraft, along with creating Louisiana's first commercial airline. The company is a direct ancestor of Eastern Airlines.

    Today, the town on Bayou Teche has a population of over 6,000. Since it's surrounded by grain fields and swamp, Patterson is mostly inhabited by single-family homes and mobile home parks in residential neighborhoods. Friendly pizza places, chain restaurants and service stations line US Route 90 which runs through the city.

    Living the bayou life in Patterson is cheap. Among all the towns in Louisiana that dot our top ten, Patterson is the cheapest at just $485 monthly on average for a one-bedroom apartment.

    Fun Fact: In 1933, Jimmy Wedell set a new airspeed record of 305 mph in a Patterson-built Wedell-Williams Model 44. Three replica 44s are on display at Paterson's Wedell-Williams Aviation & Cypress Sawmill Museum. Interestingly, the museum contains both collections of early racing airplanes and industrial sawmill memorabilia.

    1. East Grand Forks, MN

    Aerial view of a river lined with a small city and trees. cheap places to rent

    • Average 1-BR rent price: $442
    • Rent change over the past year: -14.34%

    East Grand Forks tops our list of cheap places to rent. As you might guess, the Minnesota city is east of Grand Forks. It sits across the Red River over the North Dakota border. As the cheapest place for renters in America for 2021, apartment prices dropped a massive 14 percent from last year, and the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in East Grand Forks is just $442 a month.

    Arts, culture, education and industry are closely tied to the O.G. Grand Forks over the river. But there is a lot to East Grand Forks on its own. Much of “EGF" was shaped by the Great Flood of 1997. That's when the Red River Flood damaged nearly every structure in town, and several neighborhoods ended up demolished.

    After that, brand new neighborhoods grew, including rental properties and apartment complexes. A revitalized downtown added a multiplex movie theater and a large destination sporting goods store along with several new eateries.

    It also led to the creation of the Greater Grand Forks Greenway. Twice the size of Central Park, the 2,200 acre Greenway lies in the area devastated by flooding where houses and businesses once stood. A dike system now protects the area that is home to parks, golf courses, a disc golf course, hiking and biking trails, a state campground, athletic fields, gardens, a wildlife preserve and a flood memorial.

    Today, the city holds a number of community festivals including Catfish Days, Heritage Days and the Frosty Bobber fishing tournament. Additionally, it shares many events with its North Dakota neighbor including the Potato Bowl Parade and First Night.

    Fun Fact: East Grand Forks has a colorful history. In the 1930s, the city — with a population of just 3,000 — licensed nearly 50 saloons. “Ripley's Believe It Or Not" listed downtown as having the highest concentration of neon lights in the world. A newspaper in Johannesburg, South Africa, at the time dubbed EGF "The Wickedest City in the World."

    100 cheap places to rent in America

    If these 10 locations don't do it for you, there are plenty of other affordable cities with the cheapest rent in America. Here are the top 100 cheap places to rent, all under $800 a month.

    How to find an affordable apartment

    Not everyone can live in one of the cities with the cheapest rent in America. So when you're searching for a new home, whether it be in a new place or elsewhere in your current place, how can you still keep your lease costs down? Here are a few basic tips to still find a cheap place to rent.

    1. Pare down your must-haves

    We all walk into the apartment search with a list of features and amenities we most desire. This usually includes things like a dishwasher, in-suite washer and dryer, proximity to a train stop, pet-friendly, secluded, near restaurants or a location on the first floor. If you are looking to save some money, decide which of your desired features are most important and which you can live without. When you have fewer must-haves on your list, more options will open to you for an affordable lease.

    2. Be open to a smaller apartment

    Some one-bedroom apartments can still be spacious and others downright small. But think about just how much time you spend at home compared to at work or out on the town, and consider a smaller apartment. If you can give up some of that square footage, you'll bring the price of the lease down. It's nice to have a lot of room to stretch out in an apartment, but it's also nice to have more money to stretch out your wallet.

    3. Be open to different neighborhoods

    Sure, living downtown around the clubs, cafes and hotspots is wonderful. But if you're on a budget looking for a more affordable apartment, you might consider giving up some of that convenience. Downtowns and trendy gentrified neighborhoods are usually more expensive. Instead, find a more residential neighborhood in your city or a lower-income section of town that's targeted for future redevelopment. Or, find a convenient cheaper suburb with access to public transportation to live in, even if you work and play in the city.

    4. Be open to different cities

    If your job is transportable to any city, or you work a remote job, consider a move to a different city. Everyone might want to live in New York or L.A., but you can find amazing nightlife, sports and fun in places like Indianapolis or Memphis or Denver for much cheaper.

    5. Negotiate

    Just because an apartment lists for a particular price, that doesn't mean that's the price you have to pay. Meet with the landlord and see if you can negotiate the price down lower. Be respectful and willing to compromise. Come with two prices in mind: The one you open with and the one you're willing to pay. Bring reference letters and show you'd be a good tenant.

    Also remember it's ok to walk away if you can't get your price.

    6. Look for subsidies

    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offers a number of subsidies and grants for renters with a lower income who have trouble affording rent. Check out the HUD website and see if you qualify.


    The information to find cheap places to rent is based on February 2021 one-bedroom rental property inventory on Apartment Guide and and is used for illustrative purposes only. Cities were excluded if they did not have at least 50 properties in our available inventory. The data contained herein does not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.



    AFFORDABLE Kingston Houses for Sale -Buying a House in Jamaica - Under 15 million Fixer-Upper Houses

    420 Cheap Houses For Rent in Columbus, OH

    Sort: Best Match

    1 of 25

    1 of 18

    From $539

    Essington Village Apartments

    5280 Tamarack Cir E, Columbus, OH 43229



    From $539

    385+ sq. ft.


    1 Bed

    From $609

    616+ sq. ft.


    1 Bed

    From $639

    684+ sq. ft.


    3 Bed

    From $899

    1167+ sq. ft.


    Lease TermsMonthly, 6-Month, 7-Month, 8-Month, 9-Month, 10-Month, 11-Month, 12-Month, 13-Month

    NeighborhoodForest Park East

    View All Details

    1 of 3

    From $550

    York Terrace North Apartments

    5679 Maple Canyon Ave, Columbus, OH 43229


    2 Bed

    From $730

    896+ sq. ft.


    3 Bed

    From $875

    1095+ sq. ft.


    1 Bed

    From $550

    602-702+ sq. ft.


    2 Bed

    From $595

    749-797+ sq. ft.


    Lease Terms3, 6 ,12 and 18 month lease terms available

    NeighborhoodForest Park East

    View All Details


    Slate Run II Apartments

    2096 Burgoyne Ct, Columbus, OH 43220


    1 Bed


    600+ sq. ft.


    Lease TermsLease Terms Offered: 3 (on studio's only), 6, 9, 12+ Months. Prices quoted are for 12 month lease. Security Deposits: $250. Pet Policy: Dogs, cats, small birds and fish are permitted. There is a limit of 1 dog or 2 cats per apartments. Any other caged ani


    View All Details


    Cornerstone Crossing Apartments

    6033 Lake Club Court, Columbus, OH 43232




    504+ sq. ft.


    1 Bed


    626+ sq. ft.


    1 Bed


    775+ sq. ft.


    2 Bed


    856+ sq. ft.


    1 Bed


    864+ sq. ft.


    2 Bed


    960+ sq. ft.


    2 Bed


    1088+ sq. ft.


    2 Bed


    1104+ sq. ft.


    Lease Terms12-Month

    NeighborhoodEast Columbus

    View All Details

    From $565

    York Terrace East Apartments

    5410 Yorkshire Terrace Dr, Columbus, OH 43232


    1 Bed

    From $655

    749+ sq. ft.


    2 Bed

    From $710

    968+ sq. ft.


    2 Bed

    From $715

    968+ sq. ft.


    3 Bed

    From $850

    1319+ sq. ft.


    2 Bed

    From $695

    916-980+ sq. ft.


    1 Bed

    From $565

    654-710+ sq. ft.


    2 Bed

    From $615

    795-838+ sq. ft.

    Lease Terms3-Month, 6-Month, 12-Month, 13-Month

    NeighborhoodEast Columbus

    View All Details

    From $599

    Royal York Apartments

    1445 E Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43205



    From $599

    609+ sq. ft.


    2 Bed

    From $849

    1052+ sq. ft.


    3 Bed

    From $1,600

    2000+ sq. ft.


    3 Bed

    From $1,600

    2052+ sq. ft.




    609-650+ sq. ft.


    2 Bed


    1250-1287+ sq. ft.

    Lease TermsVariable Lease Terms

    NeighborhoodKing-Lincoln Bronzeville

    View All Details


    Williamsburg Square Apartments

    5521 Chatford Square, Columbus, OH 43232


    1 Bed


    700+ sq. ft.


    1 Bed


    800+ sq. ft.


    2 Bed


    988+ sq. ft.


    2 Bed


    988+ sq. ft.


    2 Bed


    1000+ sq. ft.


    2 Bed


    1020+ sq. ft.


    3 Bed


    1220+ sq. ft.


    3 Bed


    1330+ sq. ft.


    Lease Terms12-Month

    NeighborhoodEast Columbus

    View All Details


    Now discussing:

    By Andrew DePietro/GOBankingRates

    If you're looking for the cheapest cities to rent a home, you'll need to do some serious research. Not only will you have to look at different types of homes, but you'll need to look at how much it costs to rent in various cities -- and not just the big cities like New York, Los Angeles or Chicago.

    Lucky for you, did a lot of the work and compiled a list of the top 20 cheapest cities for renters. In our study, we ranked the 150 most populous U.S. cities based on the median rent of one-bedroom homes, two-bedroom homes and single-family residences sourced from Zillow.

    Whether you're fresh out of college or looking for an affordable city to rent during retirement, here are the 20 cheapest cities to rent in the U.S.

    20. Rochester, New York

    • 1-bedroom median rent: $747.50
    • 2-bedroom median rent: $850
    • Single-family residence median rent: $1,050

    The median rent for a one-bedroom and a two-bedroom in Rochester is cheap -- but it's really the rent for a single-family residence that puts it in the top 20 cheapest cities to rent. Median rents in Rochester are much cheaper than in New York City and even beat rents in another upstate city, Buffalo.

    To get the best deal on an apartment or home, consider renting a home in the neighborhoods with the cheapest apartments, such as Culver-Winton, Charles House and Maplewood, according to

    19. Indianapolis

    • 1-bedroom median rent: $740
    • 2-bedroom median rent: $839.50
    • Single-family residence median rent: $1,000

    Apartment rental prices are low in Indianapolis, but in the last three years, rents have increased year-on-year, according to RentJungle data.

    Out of the 20 cheapest cities to rent, Indianapolis has the second-highest median rent for one-bedroom homes and the third-highest median rent for two-bedrooms.

    18. Boise, Idaho

    • 1-bedroom median rent: $675
    • 2-bedroom median rent: $775
    • Single-family residence median rent: $1,085

    Can't decide whether you should buy or rent a home in Boise? You might want to consider renting.

    According to, Idaho's real estate market is experiencing record lows for inventory, which could be the reason why home prices are rising.

    17. Cincinnati

    • 1-bedroom median rent: $665
    • 2-bedroom median rent: $930
    • Single-family residence median rent: $950

    The Cincinnati housing market is struggling with tight inventory, and many people are deciding on renting instead of buying. Fortunately, Cincinnati still offers some of the lowest median rents in the U.S.

    Median rents for single-family residences in Cincinnati are much lower than Columbus' median rent of more than $1,000.

    16. Des Moines, Iowa

    • 1-bedroom median rent: $725
    • 2-bedroom median rent: $801
    • Single-family residence median rent: $985

    Families looking to rent in Des Moines will enjoy a median rent of $985 for a single-family residence, the seventh-cheapest rent of the top 20 cheapest cities to live.

    But the low rents might not last. After home values in the city bottomed out in 2012, they increased by around $15,000 over the last next years, according to Zillow data. During the same period, rent list prices jumped by more than $200 a month.

    15. Lubbock, Texas

    • 1-bedroom median rent: $590
    • 2-bedroom median rent: $800
    • Single-family residence median rent: $1,150

    Lubbock is one of two cities in Texas to make the top 20 cheapest cities for renters. As the Lone Star State's booming economy pushes housing prices higher in its major cities, Lubbock has managed to still be cheap. Notably, Lubbock boasts the fifth cheapest one-bedroom median rent.

    14. Little Rock, Arkansas

    • 1-bedroom median rent: $695
    • 2-bedroom median rent: $777.50
    • Single-family residence median rent: $1,000

    Little Rock is almost perfectly centered in the middle of Arkansas, far from other major metro areas. Despite this, Little Rock's median rents are all $1,000 or less.

    The median rent for two-bedroom units in Little Rock is among the cheapest in the nation. However, according to Zillow, the Little Rock housing market is very hot and currently favoring home sellers. As home values have increased in Little Rock, so has the median rent list price -- from $830 a month in December 2012 to around $1,000 a month as of July 2016.

    13. El Paso, Texas

    • 1-bedroom median rent: $603.50
    • 2-bedroom median rent: $750
    • Single-family residence median rent: $1,117.50

    Across the border from Mexico, El Paso is the 20th-largest city in the U.S. by population and the sixth-largest city in Texas. Smaller than cities such as Houston, Dallas and Austin, El Paso boasts median rents that are cheaper than all of them. And, rent list prices actually decreased from August 2015 to July 2016, according to the Zillow Rent Index.

    ​ 12. Spokane, Washington

    • 1-bedroom median rent: $595
    • 2-bedroom median rent: $795
    • Single-family residence median rent: $1,047.50

    If you want to live in Washington but can't afford Seattle's high prices, then Spokane could be your solution. Spokane has one of the nation's cheapest median rent prices for one-bedrooms and costs more than $1,000 less than the median rent in Seattle.

    Meanwhile, single-family residences in Spokane have a median rent that's over $1,600 less than Seattle's and around $800 less than the median rent of another popular Pacific Northwest city, Portland, Oregon.

    11. Tallahassee, Florida

    • 1-bedroom median rent: $625
    • 2-bedroom median rent: $750
    • Single-family residence median rent: $1,050

    Tallahassee's median rents are cheaper than those in larger Florida cities. For example, the median rent for a two-bedroom unit in Tallahassee is $500 cheaper than in Orlando and $1,850 cheaper than in Miami.

    10. Tucson, Arizona

    • 1-bedroom median rent: $575
    • 2-bedroom median rent: $750
    • Single-family residence median rent: $1,100

    Tucson boasts some of the cheapest median rents in the U.S. Coming in at No. 10 of the cheapest places to rent, Tucson scores one of the cheapest one-bedroom median rents in the country, behind cities like Toledo, Ohio, and Wichita, Kansas. One-bedroom median rents in Tucson are nearly $300 cheaper than Phoenix rents, too.

    9. Greensboro, North Carolina

    • 1-bedroom median rent: $655
    • 2-bedroom median rent: $740
    • Single-family residence median rent: $962.50

    One-bedroom, two-bedroom and single-family residence median rents in Greensboro are all hundreds of dollars less on average than in Charlotte.

    8. Memphis, Tennessee

    • 1-bedroom median rent: $683
    • 2-bedroom median rent: $750
    • Single-family residence median rent: $900

    Memphis is the first of two Tennessee cities to make our list of the cheapest cities to rent a home. Rental rates in Memphis also compare favorably with Nashville.

    7. Knoxville, Tennessee

    • 1-bedroom median rent: $600
    • 2-bedroom median rent: $800
    • Single-family residence median rent: $950

    Knoxville is up and coming, but this city's median rent is cheap -- especially for one-bedroom units. Two-bedroom residences, however, will cost a bit more than most cities on our list of the cheapest places to rent.

    6. Columbus, Georgia

    • 1-bedroom median rent: $725
    • 2-bedroom median rent: $673.50
    • Single-family residence median rent: $900

    Columbus comes in at No. 6 of the cheapest places to rent, thanks mainly to the median rents of two-bedroom and single-family residences. Columbus is tied with two other cities for the fourth-cheapest single-family median rent on our list. Meanwhile, its median rent for two-bedroom units is the third-cheapest of the cities on our list.

    5. Augusta, Georgia

    • 1-bedroom median rent: $614
    • 2-bedroom median rent: $775
    • Single-family residence median rent: $895

    Georgia is a real estate hotbed, with Atlanta and Marietta ranking among the top 20 U.S. cities experiencing the biggest increases in home prices. Fortunately, Augusta is still very cheap when it comes to rent. Single-family residences in Augusta tie for the third-cheapest median rent in the U.S. among the 20 cheapest cities on our list.

    4. Fayetteville, North Carolina

    • 1-bedroom median rent: $585
    • 2-bedroom median rent: $697
    • Single-family residence median rent: $900

    Fayetteville racks up solid numbers across all three categories of residences. On this list of the 20 cheapest places to rent, the city's single-family median rent is tied for the fourth-cheapest alongside Memphis and Columbus. In terms of one-bedroom and two-bedroom median rents, Fayetteville is among the cheapest, too.

    3. Wichita, Kansas

    • 1-bedroom median rent: $547.50
    • 2-bedroom median rent: $700
    • Single-family residence median rent: $895

    Wichita has some very cheap apartments for rent, scoring the second-cheapest one-bedroom median rent on our list. Wichita also ties for third place for the cheapest single-family residence and comes in fourth for the cheapest two-bedroom median rent.

    Wichita's cheap rents could be ideal for trying to get younger generations to move in. Considering millennials seem to be less interested in homeownership these days, cheap apartments could be key to bringing in fresh blood and money to the city's economy.

    2. Detroit

    • 1-bedroom median rent: $625
    • 2-bedroom median rent: $650
    • Single-family residence median rent: $750

    One-bedroom apartments in Detroit are cheap, but not the cheapest on our list. With the other apartment types, however, Detroit ties for the cheapest two-bedroom median rent but claims the No. 1 spot for the cheapest single-family residence median rent.

    Not all parts of Detroit are cheap for renters, however. Rent prices vary widely, with neighborhoods like Barton-McFarland costing less than $500 a month while Downtown Detroit costs nearly $1,800 a month, according to RentJungle.

    1. Toledo, Ohio

    • 1-bedroom median rent: $442.5
    • 2-bedroom median rent: $650
    • Single-family residence median rent: $790

    Toledo takes the top spot for the cheapest cities to rent a home.

    Though the vacancy rate for apartments in Toledo inched up to 5.2 percent in the last half of 2015, in general, the apartment market is strong. Since the end of 2014, Toledo's vacancy rate has gotten smaller while its average rental rate has risen, according to a March 2016 article in The Blade.

    Fortunately, rental prices in Toledo are still at national lows and beat the other Ohio cities on our list of the 20 cheapest cities. Toledo has the cheapest one-bedroom median rent, one of the cheapest two-bedroom median rents and the second-cheapest single-family residence median rent.

    And if you're looking to lower your monthly rent even more, the cheapest neighborhoods to rent apartments in Toledo include Birmingham, Franklin Park and Scott Park, according to RentJungle.


    GOBankingRates used July 2016 data from (sourced Sept. 8, 2016) on the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment, the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment and the median rent for a single-family residence to calculate the cheapest cities to rent an apartment based on the 150 most populous cities in the U.S., according to 2015 Census estimates.


    10185 10186 10187 10188 10189