The common metric for measuring housing affordability—whether households pay more than 30 percent of their income on shelter—has its downsides. Looking at residual income offers more precision in some respects.
Good research indicates that building middle-priced housing increases affordability through "filtering," as some lower-priced housing occupants move into more expensive units, and over time as the new houses depreciate and become cheaper.
The public comment period for the draft Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan will wrap up soon. City council members are already responding to concerns from singe-family neighborhood residents about the density proposed in the plan.
Cities like San Francisco or New York can suck up all the oxygen for the conversation about housing affordability in the U.S. Meanwhile rapidly growing cities like Nashville, where the scope of a crisis of affordability is no less dire.
When President Reagan slashed funding for low-income housing in the '80s, he set off a boom in manufactured housing. Now some think these homes might offer relief for those struggling to afford a home.
To paraphrase Bill Clinton, it's the housing, stupid! In addition to the troubling findings of the Bay Area Council poll, a California housing report found that Silicon Valley had the highest percentage of residents leaving their counties.