Cities in the heartland are suddenly experiencing something they never anticipated: a shortage of affordable housing for middle class residents, reports.

When Nashville Mayor Megan Barry was campaigning last year, she made increasing the city’s stock of affordable housing a big part of her platform. It’s not hard to see why: Home prices in the cradle of country music have jumped 58 percent over the past three years as workers flocked to the city’s thriving economy. One in four renters there spends at least 50 percent of her income on rent.

While soaring real estate prices and ludicrous rents have ceased being news in places called Pacific Heights or Park Slope, the dual tsunamis of gentrification that submerged both coasts are moving inland, threatening small and midsize U.S. cities where the idea of spending half of your pay on rent was once inconceivable. No more.

Read more >