It is estimated that half of American families who rent their homes are paying more than 30 percent of their income for housing, which is higher than the common standard of housing affordability. Furthermore, 11 million households put more than 50 percent of their income toward rent. This includes married couples with children, single parents, elderly people living alone and young people who are just starting out.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) reports that only 37 affordable and available rental homes exist for every 100 extremely low-income household in the country. Wisconsin is in line with the average, with 31-40 affordable homes for every 100 such households.
Adding affordable housing to our communities not only improves the quality of life for residents, it also is beneficial to our economy. Just 100 new affordable rental homes generates nearly $12 million in local income, more than 160 jobs in the first year and more than $2 million in taxes and other revenue for local governments.
Local housing policies that provide for greater flexibility and fewer fees and delays in the building process is a great start to providing greater access to families in both market rate and affordable housing. Dane County has seen consistently low inventory across several market levels, including affordable housing. More housing options, across multiple price points, will provide greater flexibility to local families and expand the inventory for all families. Firefighters, teachers, nurses and convenient store clerks all should be able to live in our communities. Housing policy at our local municipalities is crucial to providing affordable housing and less expensive market rate housing.
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