More than a third of housing in Greater Des Moines is considered unaffordable when transportation costs are factored in, though the region is still more affordable than national average, a new report finds.
These are among the findings of a newly released housing-affordability report by the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). The report is a local analysis of data from the Housing + Transportation Affordability Index by the Center for Neighborhood Technology, which defines “affordable” as households that spend less than 45 percent of their incomes on housing and associated transportation costs.
Findings from the Housing Affordability report include:
- 61 percent of neighborhoods in Greater Des Moines spend less than 45 percent of their household incomes on housing and transportation, meaning they are considered affordable.
- Nationally, 26 percent of neighborhoods are considered affordable by this measure.
- 39 percent of neighborhoods in Greater Des Moines spend more than 45 percent of their incomes on housing and transportation, meaning they are considered unaffordable.
- Across the region, the average cost of housing and transportation combined is 47 percent of household incomes, 2 percentage points above the affordability threshold.
The MPO’s findings echo those in Housing Tomorrow, the long-range plan for affordable housing in Greater Des Moines that was recently completed by the Polk County Housing Trust Fund. The trust fund’s executive director, Eric Burmeister, said the data offer a reality check with significant implications for planners, housing professionals and policy makers.
“It’s accepted as a universal truth that Greater Des Moines is an affordable place to live – and while true for many, it’s not true for tens of thousands of residents,” Burmeister said. “They have less money for food, health care, and income to put back into the local economy. We need to think strategically as a region about having a range of housing types for people of all income levels.”
For more information, please call or email MPO staff at 515-334-0075 or firstname.lastname@example.org.