New research by both the Brookings Institute’s Metropolitan Policy Program and the National Low Income Housing Coalition tells us that the nation’s affordability crisis is beginning to metastasize and impact the middle class.
The NLIHC indicates that 8M renters pay +50% of their income for rent and that the nation as a whole is short some 7.2M housing units.
Jenny Schuetz, a housing policy fellow with the Brookings Institute, found that severe affordability issues are affecting both lower and middle class. These issues are forcing both homeowners and renters to make “traditional trade-offs, sacrificing a combination of cost, commute time and home size for any proximity to big city job markets. Everyone everywhere, not just in California but in Cleveland, is having to spend more than they have in order to have a place to live.”
Three of the nation’s fastest growing cities, Charlotte NC, Salt Lake City and Columbus Ohio, have become too expensive for more potential owners/renters than they already have. Charlotte is short some 34,000 affordable housing units as its booming job market has attracted 100,000 new households since 2000. Salt Lake City is currently short some 54,000 units at a time when it has been a leader in home building. Its housing costs are higher than both Phoenix and Las Vegas. Columbus housing market, now cooling slightly, has simply exhausted its too-many buyers with ever-higher home prices. timandjulieharris.com