PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Renters across the country are starting to see prices come down, however, there’s no immediate relief in sight for those in the Providence area.

A new report from Zillow shows that while rent is down nationwide year over year, there was a 6.9% increase in Providence between June 2022 and June 2023.

Only Boston had a higher increase at 7% year over in year, according to the report.

“Providence, in the last year, had bigger increases in rent than most other places they looked at in the country,” said Peter Asen from the Providence Housing Authority.

The average rent right now in Providence is more than $2,000. Asen predicts a family would have to make around $80,000 a year in order to afford that.

“There’s only so many people that can figure out some way to pay a $2,500 or a $3,000 a month rent, even if they’re spending a lot more than 30% of their income, which is what’s deemed affordable,” Asen added.

He said the city and state desperately need more housing units in order to counteract the rising costs.

“I do think change is in new construction and development,” Asen said. “Things that are happening in the state will help over time.”

Housing authorities Rhode Island offer rental-assistance voucher programs. In Providence, they can offer vouchers to 2,700 families, according to Asen. He estimated that more than 10,000 families are on the waiting list for those vouchers in the capital city.

“The lists are so long, it’s going to take people a long time to potentially get that voucher,” Asen explained. “There’s definitely a lot more demand for those programs then there is availability of those resources. I think that’s been true for a long time, but it’s probably gotten more acute over the last few years.”

People who are able to afford their rent are also concerned by the rising prices.

“It’s recently gotten substantially more expensive than what it was in previous years,” said Kaziah Copeland, who’s lived in Providence on and off for 20 years.

“We’re in a good position to pay the rent, but if they were any higher, we would have to rethink moving to a location where those rents would make more sense,” Copeland added.