On December 31, the Center for Housing Policy’s Keith Wardrip was featured on WAMU 88.5 FM Radio (D.C.) to highlight a new Center report, entitled Housing Affordability Trends for Working Households, which found that housing affordability actually worsened for many of America’s families between 2005 and 2009.
For areas in D.C. and Northern Virginia, the number of households spending more than half of their income on housing grew significantly despite falling home prices. In 2005 the number of households in D.C., Arlington and Alexandria devoting half their income to housing costs was 18 percent and by 2008, it had risen to 22 percent.
The report suggests that this increase is due in part to adjustable rate mortgages and higher utility costs. High unemployment levels are also making it difficult for owners to afford their homes.
According to Wardrip, things aren’t likely to get better until unemployment goes down, and government assistance programs give more help to those struggling to meet monthly payments.