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Archive for April 21st, 2010

Business First of Buffalo reports that WNY has the second most affordable housing stock of all the major metropolitan regions in the US with Rochester being the most affordable.

What seems to be lacking in this article is the meaning of affordable housing. Affordable for whom? How does one define what constitutes affordable?

According to the US Census Bureau’s American FactFinder, in the City of Buffalo 33.2% of all housing units with mortgages pay more that 30% of their household income on housing. Even more disturbing is that a staggering 55.8% of renters pay more than 30% of their income for housing. The percentage of people whose housing costs are unaffordable is very similar in Rochester and other metros.

Of course we cannot forget that there are roughly 2,000 people every night who cannot afford any housing and are homeless in Buffalo.

So, really, how affordable is housing in WNY? Or in any of these other major metro regions?

These kinds of reports almost always ignore the large number of people in our cities whose housing costs are unaffordable. To accurately talk about the housing situation in our metro regions we must talk about the millions of minimum and low wage workers who struggle with very basic housing costs.

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