Latest post in a series on Affordable Housing
“Incomes are not matching up to the unit prices.”
We’re continuing to slow-walk through the statistics relevant to the much welcomed affordable housing initiative headed by Councilwoman Crampsie Smith presented by the city at the Tuesday March 23 Community Development Committee meeting.
How much does an apartment cost in our town?
And how much money do you need to make to afford one?
Good answers to such good questions.
Listen to the City’s Tina Roseberry again.
For instance, to rent a newly constructed 2BR apartment, you need to make $1,750/month to not be cost-burdened, that is, you need to make, say, $76,000/yr., and approximately 2/3’s of our residents do not make that much.
Read and weep.
The Lehigh Valley Planning Commission raised a red flag over surging housing costs in a report released Tuesday, warning that one-in-three households are paying a larger-than-recommended share of their income to keep a roof over their heads.
The Lehigh Valley has been in a housing crunch for years as the population grew and developers pumped high-end apartments into the market. But these luxury-style abodes cost more than what many families can afford, leaving many residents short on options. The coronavirus pandemic’s arrival stretched those trends to new extremes, the report found.
Between 2015 and 2019, the median home sale in the Lehigh Valley slowly increased from $175,000 to $200,000. But over the last year, the pandemic led residents of New York City and its expensive suburbs to move to the cheaper Lehigh Valley, causing median home sales here to balloon in one year by the same $25,000. While there’s been a surge in proposed single-family housing developments, it’s not enough to meet the demand in the Lehigh Valley, planners said. The high costs are straining low- and middle-income families’ finances.
More than 60% of home owners in some neighborhoods in Center City Allentown and Easton’s West Ward are considered cost-burdened, according to the study.
Nearly 80% of Lehigh Valley residents work in industries where jobs are at risk because of the pandemic, according to the report.