CNCounty News

County News Hot Topics: Housing Affordability

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Key Takeaways

For a growing number of Americans, the cost of housing is crowding out the rest of their household budget. That’s forcing
many families into precarious living situations that affect their safety, their health, the length of their commutes and their chance to build generational wealth or to contribute to a vibrant community where they feel like they have a stake.

In 18% of counties, households must spend more than 3.5 times their annual income to afford a typical home. Nearly a quarter (24%) of households that occupy rental units are severely cost-burdened, spending more than half of their annual income on rent. According to Freddie Mac, there is a shortage of more than 3.8 million homes — both rental and owner-occupied — across the country, and it will take more than 20 years to close the housing unit gap despite the recent acceleration in development, according to the National Association of Realtors. These statistics lend context to a problem that counties know all too well: Housing affordability is increasingly out of reach for residents. 

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