I wonder if -- as people are forced to double up to afford one apartment -- the cost of housing is considered to have go down (only half for each)?
Right now nobody builds new housing for lower-third to lower-half income Americans. Now that 25% of American workers are earning less than the minimum wage under LBJ, we cannot reasonably expect anybody to build for people with no money to buy and not even enough to rent. Cities are even demolishing public housing projects that have become gang dominated hell since American wages have slipped to Depression levels (FDR's minimum wage: $4.65/hr, w/no taxes) and would be workers turn to drug selling or worse.
Meantime more and more yuppies keep getting born and they keep buying up what lower middle class apartment buildings are left (yuppies in my own family!) -- the Lord made the earth and he's not making any more.
I wonder to what extent the no-end-in-sight disappearance of lower income apartments and the consequent doubling of rents (as incomes decline -- seemingly inversely related!) shows up on national inflation radar.