For a family of four, moderate income would be $44,950; for a two-person household it is $35,950.
The minimum wholesale cost of a residential lot is well beyond $50,000 in all suburban areas, the report says, and in the range of $75,000-$100,000 in most, suggesting little opportunity for building houses below $225,000. The median price of a single-family home is $188,150 state-wide and $240,000 in the suburbs, the report says.
Average annual incomes for various professions in the state suggest that the victims of the current crisis in housing are “people that are the very fabric of Rhode Island.”
Pre-school teachers in the state earn $22,650 on average; nurses, $38,552; police officers, $43,359; office clerks, $22,454; and carpenters, $39,501, according to the report.
At the same time, the study says, housing construction in Rhode Island is not keeping up with population growth. The state’s households grew by 30,447 from 1990-2000, compared to only 25,265 new homes. And 40% of the state’s housing stock is more than 50 years old and about 30,000 units are sub-standard.
Housing is also increasingly inadequate to support new job growth, which is expected by the State’s Department of Labor and Training to average 10,000 jobs annually through 2007. Using a U.S. Commerce Department estimate that seven new housing units are required to support every 10 new jobs created in a local economy, Rhode Island is in the process of increasing its housing shortage by 22,500 units.
“The overarching cause of the deepening affordable housing crisis is the prevalence of exclusionary land use regulation at the local level,” the report finds.
“Some zoning ordinances provide no zone in which any residence other than a single-family home can be built. Others provide for token higher density zones — but do so by having such zones consist entirely of confined areas where such housing already exists — providing no room for the creation of new units,” the study says.
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