We don’t think anyone really needs to be convinced of the idea that housing affordability is a huge problem for most Americans. Anyone who’s even dipped a toe into the home-buying process has felt it. The average sale price of houses sold in the US this year was over $500,000. And with mortgage interest rates rising faster than ever before, more people are bound to get squeezed out of the housing market before they ever even had a chance.
We’re taking a look at the problems of housing affordability and donating to YIMBY Action, an organization advocating for abundant, affordable housing and inclusive, sustainable communities across the US.
The Rent is too Darn High
We might have started off by talking about how expensive mortgages are, but that doesn’t mean renters are immune. When home prices rise, rent generally rises right along with it. Average monthly rent for a two bedroom apartment in the US is just under $1,300–that’s often referenced as an important number because of families with at least one child. Renters make up about 36% of the nation’s households, and about half of them have children.
Location, Location, Location
You would regularly see calls for people to move to low cost of living areas in the years leading up to today. Cities in the Midwest or the Southeast were often pulled out as great examples of places to move to start a family. There’s been more pushback on that recently, though. First, not everyone wants to move away from family, support systems and current jobs just to be able to afford a place to lay their head. Plus, the tradeoff sometimes means saving money on housing…only to spend it on childcare in a new city.
More than that, though, many people are getting fed up with being told they’re the ones that have to move from a place they like because there’s not enough new housing going up in their area to let some pressure out of the system.
The Inevitable Housing Insecurity Issue
We’ve talked before about housing insecurity and the terrible effects it can have on people and families. We know that it’s a complex issue, but steep housing prices can’t be helping the matter. It may not always looks like fully sleeping on the streets, either. Housing insecurity for children may mean that they’re not sure where they’re sleeping from week to week as they bounce between family and friends to try to stay afloat.
How to Help
There are many organizations out there trying to understand what’s preventing housing from being built and getting those laws changed. YIMBY Action supports smaller local chapters in states, cities and even neighborhoods across the country. You can find a chapter near you–or even start one yourself!