Affordable Housing and how it is translated.

Surprise, we do not have enough affordable housing!  The topic of affordable housing is always an intersting conversation because it means something different to everyone and is subjectively interpretted based on its context.  In a downtown setting, “affordable” may be interpretted as a purchase price of $200/ sq. ft or a monthly rental price of $1.50/ sq. ft.  In the suburban context, “affordable” may be interpretted as $80 sq. ft.  There is quite a discrepency between the terms.  The following is a brief article from today’s Smart Growth Newsletter:

Smart Growth News

Study Shows Insufficient Affordable Housing in Colorado

A new report from the Colorado Division of Housing reveals that some 80,000 households in Colorado earn $10,000 or less each year and for these residents, and thousands more, finding affordable housing is very difficult.

According to spokesman Ryan McMaken, households earning $10,000 a year, could afford pay about $250 a month for housing. This figure is based on a calculation that uses a maximum of 30% of income for rent. People who spend more are considered ”rent burdened.” According to the study nearly one quarter of Colorado residents currently spend more than half their income on rent.

The study, said to be the first of its kind by the Colorado Division of Housing, found that there are only 49 affordable rental units in the state for every 100 households earning less than $20,000 a year, and 53 such units for households earning $10,000 or less. In comparison, there are “100 or more affordable apartments for every 100 households making $40,000 or more.”   4/13/2010

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