NBN Online for the week of May 16, 2005

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In This Issue:

Front Page
Builders Seek Timely OSHA Citations and Other Reforms
Will You Be the Next Winner of a Digital Camera?
New Southern Nevada Homes Embrace Water Conservation
Coast to Coast
Developer Tactics to Avoid Housing Bust
Economics & Finance
Home Buyers Opt for Upscale Smaller Homes
Builder Confidence on Home Sales Holding Strong
Business Management
What Do You Need From Your Estimating Software?
Seniors Housing
A Holistic Approach to Wellness for CCRCs
Little Consolidation Seen in Remodeling Industry
Ohio Remodeler Named Remodelor™ of the Month
Education Calendar
New Roadless Rule Lets States Choose Forest Protection
Career Staffer New EPA Administrator
Building Quality
Pulte, KB Home Divisions Earn Quality Certification
Deadline for Housing Quality Award Application Nears
Workforce housing
2006 Workforce Housing Awards Open
Workers Make Hard Choices to Pay for Housing
Housing Costs Get Tougher Still for Working Families
ICC to Guide Mexican Codes and Standards Update
Student Chapter Opens at Acosta Job Corps Center
Building Products
Custom Sell Sheets Present Door Glass Upgrades
Builder's Engineer
Good Lawyer — Bad Lawyer
NAHB-Produced Shows on HGTV & DIY — This Week
Research Center Seeks Land Development Expert
Association News
Customize Your Computer’s Cursor With the NBN ‘Hammer’
Tsunami Relief at Almost $350,000
GM Discount Available on More Than 80 Vehicles
Calendar of Events

Related Articles

2006 Workforce Housing Awards Open

Workers Make Hard Choices to Pay for Housing

Housing Costs Get Tougher Still for Working Families

Ongoing research by the Center for Housing Policy finds that housing affordability continues to be a growing problem for the nation’s working families and that the situation is even worse for immigrant workers.

Released last month, “The Housing Landscape for America’s Working Families 2005,” updates research that was initiated more than six years ago showing that working a full-time job does not guarantee a family a decent, affordable place to live.

“It is clear that when it comes to decent, affordable housing for working families, the landscape is changing, but not for the better,” writes Ann Schnare, chairman of the center.

The number of low- to moderate-income working families spending more than half of their incomes on housing or living in physically dilapidated units climbed from 3 million in 1997 to 5 million in 2003, a 67% increase, and almost 12% of the country’s 43 million working households. Working families now account for a 35% share of all households with critical housing needs, up from 23% in 1997.

These families earn between $10,700, which is the annual minimum wage, and up to 120% of the median income in their area. More than 80% of them have critical housing needs because of a severe housing cost burden. Less than 20% live in dilapidated conditions, while a small number of families experience both problems.

Of the working families with critical housing needs in 2003, the study found that 55.3% were home owners and 44.7% were renters; 38.5% were living in central cities, 42% in the suburbs and 19.5% in non-metropolitan areas.

The report also finds that among working families that do not have critical housing needs as defined in the study, 1.6 million of them live in crowded conditions, 2.7 million have one-way commutes of 45 minutes or more and more than 200,000 must contend with both.

From data it has collected from 2001 to 2003, the center’s study makes several observations about immigrant working families:

  • More than six out of 10 immigrants with critical housing needs are Hispanic, and one-third of them are from Mexico.
  • While immigrants with critical needs have about the same median income as native-born working families with housing problems, they tend to settle in more expensive markets. As a result, they are more likely to have incomes that fall below 50% of the local median and they are more likely to pay a higher price for housing.
  • Immigrants are 75% more likely than native-born working families to pay half their income for housing; 15.4% of them are experiencing a severe housing cost burden compared to 8.8% of those who are native-born.
  • Immigrant working families are much more likely to be living in overcrowded conditions; 13.7% of them experience crowding compared to 2.5% of native-born families.

“What the data in this report make clear is that critical housing needs are more pervasive and more persistent than some of us might have thought,” writes Schnare. “Between 1997 and 2003, the country has moved from the boom years of the late 1990s, to the recession of a new decade, to the moderate growth of the past few years. And, the number of working families with critical housing needs has continued to increase through it all.”

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