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Housing Affordability

Publications in this section document the nature and extent of the nation’s affordable housing challenges, including analyses of trends and point-in-time snapshots.  Several publications shed light on the the impacts of affordable housing on other outcomes.  With a better understanding of local and national housing needs, practitioners and policymakers can work to develop appropriate solutions. 

Jul 30, 2015

Making Inclusionary Housing More Flexible: Four Ideas for Urban Settings

Robert Hickey

As inclusionary housing becomes more popular in urban settings with high land costs and high construction costs, workable alternatives to on-site affordability requirements and other forms of policy flexibility will become increasingly important. This policy brief presents four ideas for improving the flexibility of inclusionary housing and expanding the menu of options available to developers – while at the same time promoting mixed-income neighborhoods.

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Keywords: Inclusionary Housing, Flexibility, Inclusionary Zoning, Affordable Housing

Mar 26, 2015

Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery: Affordable Housing

Lisa Sturtevant and Janet Viveiros

Housing serves as more than just shelter. Research has shown that affordable and stable housing can be a platform for families' education, health, and economic wellbeing (Brennan 2011; Brennan and Lubell 2012; Cohen 2011). An adequate supply of housing affordable to all residents contributes to a sustainable and diverse community. Because needs for lower-cost housing generally are not well served by the market, local governments, along with their private-sector and nonprofit partners, play a critical role in building and preserving affordable housing. A natural disaster highlights the difficulty local governments face in providing affordable housing.

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Keywords: Housing Affordability, housing solutions, Disaster resistance

Sep 23, 2014

Paycheck to Paycheck 2014: A Snapshot of Metropolitan Housing Affordability for Health Workers

Janet Viveiros and Lisa Sturtevant

It is expected that the number of health care jobs in health practitioner offices and other non-hospital and nursing home settings will increase by 31 percent and home healthcare jobs will increase by 60 percent between 2012 and 2022.(By contrast the overall number of jobs in the U.S. is projected to increase by only nine percent.) However, growing job opportunities do not necessarily ensure that health workers will be able to afford homes in the communities where they work. This year’s edition of Paycheck to Paycheck examines housing affordability in 210 metro areas for workers in five important and growing health care occupations: medical records transcriptionist, medical billing clerk, home health aide, geriatric nurse, and case manager.

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Keywords: Homeownership, Jobs, Paycheck to Paycheck, Rental, Working Households

Feb 19, 2014

Housing Landscape 2014

Janet Viveiros, Lisa Sturtevant

Even as the economy continues to improve, many American workers are still struggling to make ends meet. Authors Lisa Sturtevant and Janet Viveiros analyze 2009-2012 American Community Survey data to find that for millions of households, housing costs account for more than half of the household's monthly income. And even though the share of working households with a severe housing cost burden fell in 2012, housing affordability remains a severe challenge for millions of working individuals and families. Renter households are more than twice as likely to be housing cost burdened than owner households. In 2012, 24.7 percent of all renter households were severely burdened compared to 10.5 percent of all owner households. 

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Keywords: Housing Costs, Housing Affordability, Working Households, Renters, Homeownership, Cost Burden, Landscape, Housing Landscape, Rental