Solving the Affordable Homeownership Gap, a report commissioned by Proud Ground and underwritten by Bank of America, makes the case for homeownership as a critical part of a forward-thinking affordable housing strategy in our region.
The report details changes in the region’s economy that have caused homeownership to slip out of reach for low- and moderate-income families: increases in rent and home prices of nearly 80% and median incomes that have risen only 29%. Home prices are up to the extent that families making between 60 and 80% of the median household income ($35,000 to $47,000 a year) are being priced out of the market.
Middle-income families face other challenges on the road to homeownership:
- Just 7.3% of all homes sold in the Portland Metro region in 2013 would have been affordable to lower/middle-income households ($35,000 – $47,000 annual household income). That’s just 2,309 homes, compared to 48,000 households in that income bracket.
- In 2013, 34% of homes listed for under $200,000 were sold to cash offers.
These trends continue.
“My monthly budget is, for the most part, unchanging. The money I would have had to pay in rent hikes is now going into savings.” Proud Ground homeowner
The report also explores the impact of Proud Ground’s program that provides affordable homebuying opportunities for low/moderate-income households. In Summer 2015, Proud Ground worked with DHM Research to conduct a survey of Proud Ground homeowners. Findings from survey respondents include:
- Finances improve. Financial stability and growth are key benefits of homeownership so Proud Ground tracks wealth accumulation among all homeowners. As of 2015, homeowners who have lived in their homes at least 10 years have earned an estimated average of $60,000 in equity in their home.
- Employers & employees benefit. 71% of Proud Ground homeowners report that homeownership contributed to increase in pay; 71% also report an improvement in their employment situation through additional job responsibilities; 47% have pursued additional education or workforce training since becoming a homeowner.
- It’s healthy. About 28% of homeowners attribute physical and emotional health benefits to their homeownership.
- Kids do better in school. Almost half of Proud Ground homeowners with children feel homeownership has positively affected education outcomes.
- Families get involved & get back. 78% of Proud Ground homeowners cited an increase in neighborhood connectedness and sense of community as a result of homeownership. About 40% had participated and given back to family or community since becoming a homeowner.
Proud Ground’s report urges policymakers and local companies to reignite investment in affordable homeownership programs as part of the region’s efforts to create a continuum of housing that starts with help for homeless residents and ends with affordable homeownership.
Read the entire report here.
Solving the Affordable Homeownership Gap was made possible due to underwriting support from Bank of America; data analysis and report design by ECONorthwest; survey design and interviews by DHM Research; and infographic design and branding efforts by Brink Communications.