Affordable Housing and the Effects on Families and Communities – Part 2
In this post we’d like to talk about about the relation of economic security to affordable housing.
It’s a fact that low-income families that are in a high-cost housing situation are left with little money after those housing expenses. This forces difficult budget decisions that can lead to negative consequences.
Across our country, almost 19 million low-income households spend more than 50% of their income on housing. When that much is spent in that one area there will come a time when other essential needs will be sacrificed. Food, clothing, transportation and health care are costly items that may become unaffordable. Studies have found that an average low-income family with children spent $1,400 per month on all expenses. The families that devoted over half of their income on housing were left with, on average, only $565 to cover monthly expenses. The numbers just don’t add up fo those families and some crucial essentials become victims to the shortfall. And that study is a little dated so you can only imagine the numbers today with increased costs in living.
Researchers have also found that families who do not have enough income left over to cover the remainder of their household budget will have children who experience poorer health outcomes, low levels of engagement in school and the possibility of emotional/mental health issues. These families are more likely to not be able to afford the food they need for healthy, active lifestyles as well.
Yet, affordable housing aids in increasing discretionary income that low-income families will have available to meet these needs and save for their future. An industry report done on families in New York City living in affordable homes, some financed by Low Income Housing Tax Credits, showed that they had double the discretionary income of other families in high-cost housing. This allowed them to buy health insurance, pay off debt, and save for education expenses or a home. These families spent nearly five times as much on health care, a third more on food and twice as much on retirement savings.
It is clear that affordable housing is a solution to the lack of economic security that so many families in our community face. When these families have that economic security it strengthens a community in so many ways. Hope Restorations understands that solution. Transformation is our goal – One Life, One Home, One Neighborhood at a time.