A Robust Economy and Affordable Housing


As I drive through the west side of Providence every day, it is inviting to see improvements to this urban area.  At times, when the traffic commute is heavy, I cut through the narrow side streets to see my childhood neighborhood.

While we embrace such improvements, one of the unfortunate by-products of a robust economy is the tug it has on the availability of affordable housing.

Housing being the biggest expenditure for low and middle income families, the question may be asked – what IS affordable?

One approach is to apply the 35% reasonableness test when it comes to your monthly housing expenses.  The cost of your monthly mortgage/rent, real estate taxes, insurance and repairs should be, in total, no more than 35% of your monthly family income.

Some guidelines apply a 30% factor when families apply for a rental subsidy.  One alarming statistic places approximately 50% of Providence renters exceeding the guidelines.  As affordable housing becomes out of reach, many families may resort to multi-generational households.

While Children’s Friend provides support to families struggling to maintain their homes, an expansion of affordable housing is necessary to meet the needs of vulnerable families.