NHC member HousingWorks RI (HWRI) released its 2015 Housing Fact Book last month at its annual Housing Fact Book luncheon. The book looks at several housing indicators to determine what the housing climate is like in Rhode Island.
The 2015 fact book shows that there is a persistent housing cost burden for homeowners and renters in the state, especially for low-to-middle income households. A household is considered cost burdened when it spends more than 30 percent of its income on housing. In Rhode Island, half of the state’s renters and one-third of its homeowners experience housing cost burden.
“Our analysis of additional indicators found that the state’s low vacancy rate, low rates of new housing authorized by building permits and high costs of construction have resulted in housing costs that are high relative to incomes in Rhode Island,” Nicole Lagace, HWRI’s executive director said in a press release. “For the past decade, the housing costs have outpaced the income for Rhode Islanders at all income levels.”
State data from our 2015 installment of Housing Landscape finds that 18 percent of households in Rhode Island spend at least half their income on housing costs, compared to the nationwide average of 15 percent. Renters and low-to-moderate income working households are also more likely to experience housing cost burden. Housing Fact Book researchers also found that, on average, the lowest income households spend close to $7,000 more annually that what is considered affordable in the state, which demonstrates the vast need for more affordable housing options across Rhode Island.
Close to 200 housing leaders were on hand to join the HWRI staff at the annual luncheon, which also featured a panel on housing challenges faced by the state’s millennials.