In Colorado, many of us think about access to affordable housing as a problem for resort workers in mountain towns. Although it is a peculiarity of the current economic recession that homes are becoming more affordable for those who can qualify to buy them, today’s record number of foreclosures, sharply reduced personal income, rising rents, and high unemployment mean that good, affordable housing is beyond the reach of many Americans.
The Department of Housing & Urban Development defines “affordable housing” as housing that costs no more than 30 percent of the resident’s monthly income for rent and utilities. This is significant because so much of our economy is dependent on consumer spending. When a family has to spend more on housing, it has less disposable income to help drive our economic engine.
The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard reports that between 2001 and 2007, affordable housing stock fell 6.3 percent while affluent housing stock increased by nearly 100 percent. The center further reports that for every new affordable housing unit that is created, two are lost to abandonment, waste, “condominiumization,” or expensive rental conversions.
Read more at the Denver Post