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Experts say a “perfect storm” of factors is causing the spike that is driving many Americans out of their homes or forcing them to pay more of their salary on rent at a time when fuel prices and groceries are also putting the squeeze on their bank accounts.

The building of new houses and apartment buildings has also been slowed due to ongoing issues with the global supply chain spurred by the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to labor shortages and the disruption of shipping lanes around the world, said Roberto Quercia, professor in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s department of city and regional planning. “Construction was gaining speed prior to the pandemic,” he said. “Unfortunately, that came to a screeching halt when COVID came around.”

McClatchy DC Bureau