Affordable housing is both a national and local issue with low income families struggling to find safe, adequate and affordable housing. Families who cannot find affordable housing are at greater risk of experiencing homelessness. In particular, a lack of affordable housing places a substantial burden on low-income families with children.
Affordable Housing ThresholdThe U.S. Department of Housing and Urban development considers housing to be affordable if a household pays no more than 30 percent of its annual income on housing:
. . . . . “The generally accepted definition of affordability is for a household to pay no more than 30 percent of its annual income on housing. Families who pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing are considered cost burdened and may have difficulty affording necessities such as food, clothing, transportation and medical care. An estimated 12 million renter and homeowner households now pay more then 50 percent of their annual incomes for housing, and a family with one full-time worker earning the minimum wage cannot afford the local fair-market rent for a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the United States. The lack of affordable housing is a significant hardship for low-income households preventing them from meeting their other basic needs, such as nutrition and healthcare, or saving for their future and that of their families.”
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Pinellas County Affordable HousingAccording to the combined 2006-08 American Community Surveys, approximately 43% of Pinellas County households, approximately 169,000 households, spend 30% or more of their income on housing, the same as the state average but higher than the national average of 37%. Housing costs for owner-occupied housing units include mortgage payments, home equity loans, real estate taxes, insurance, utilities and association fees. Renter-occupied housing costs include gross rent & utilities.
- The housing cost burden for Pinellas County households who rent is significantly higher than that of households who own their own home. In 2006-08, 55% of renters paid 30% or more of their household income for housing vs. 38% for homeowners.
- Low-income households, especially those that rent, experience a substantially greater housing cost burden than other income groups.
- In 2006-08 more than 84% of Pinellas County households with incomes below $20,000, approximately 57,000 households (14% of total households), spent 30% or more of their household income on housing costs. For households in the $20,000-$34,999 income range, 61% paid 30% or more for housing.
Gross Rent ComparisonsA comparison of Pinellas County’s median monthly gross rent to that of the state, the nation and other Florida counties of similar size is shown below. Also shown is a similar comparison for median monthly gross rent as a percent of household income.
- Department of Health – Healthy Families
- Directions for Mental Health – Homeless Outreach
- All Neighborhood Family Centers
- Alpha House of Pinellas – Residential
- YWCA – Family Village
Read More About It:
Census Bureau 2009 American Housing Survey: Monthly Housing Costs Reach $1,000 for Homeowners: http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/housing/cb10-124.html
Pinellas Housing Profile: http://flhousingdata.shimberg.ufl.edu/a/profiles?action=results&nid=5200