Although AHS focuses on local and regional housing issues, we always stay plugged into the latest national research on housing challenges and affordability to inform our work. Check out these recently released resources that provide evidence for the continued need for addressing housing affordability in Arlington and all our communities.
State of the Nation's Housing 2017
Joint Center for Housing Research of Harvard University
The report indicates that although nationally housing markets and household incomes are strengthening, this is not true for all markets and all households. Overall, US house prices are on the rise by more than 5%. However, in low-income areas housing prices are still less than 10% of their pre-recession value, exposing a chasm between income levels. Moreover, household incomes are becoming polarized with an increase of 37% of workers earning less than $15,000, and a 37% increase of those earning more than $150,000. The middle categories of household incomes show growth of only 16%. A significant shift in rental supply and an increase in rental prices equates to a shortage of affordable rental units nationwide and a growing problem for those looking for adequate and affordable housing.
Out of Reach 2017
National Low Income Housing Coalition
The National Low-Income Housing Coalition annual report, Out of Reach, shows what full-time hourly workers must earn to afford housing that costs less than 30% of their household income. This research exposes the gap between low paying jobs and an adequate supply of affordable rental homes. Nationally, a minimum wage worker must work more than 100 hours per week all 52 weeks of the year to afford a modest two-bedroom rental. Otherwise, a worker must make $21.21 per hour for a 40 hr work week. In the DC metro area, the hourly rate to afford a two-bedroom rental equates to a wage of $33.58. In Virginia, the rate is $23.29. However, the average renter wage in Virginia is $17.38, showing a gap of almost $6 an hour, or over $12,000 a year.