WASHINGTON, June 3, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Housing affordability is increasingly cited among local government leaders as a barrier to economic development according to key findings on housing affordability recently released by ICMA, the International City/County Management Association.
To further explore the evolving role of U.S. local governments in addressing housing affordability in their communities, ICMA conducted secondary analysis of its major survey research along with other quantitative and qualitative resources. That analysis revealed that
- Many communities see high housing costs as a barrier to economic growth and ultimately community quality of life. In 2009, just over 14 percent of local governments surveyed by ICMA identified the high cost of housing as a barrier to economic development. Five years later, nearly 31 percent indicated that high housing costs were either a medium or highly important barrier to economic development.
- Low-income levels, rather than a lack of affordable housing, may be forcing residents into housing cost-burdened levels. More than one out of every three American households spends in excess of 30 percent of their income on housing costs, a level referred to as "housing cost burdened" according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
Nearly half of renters also fall into this category, with roughly one in four renter households spending more than 50 percent of their income on housing costs, a level considered "severely housing cost burdened." Forecasts indicate that without intervention, even more households will become severely cost burdened over the next decade.
- Forty-one percent of community housing affordability programs are supported by local government funding, according to ICMA's 2015 Survey of Local Government Sustainability Practices.
- Communities of all sizes and in all regions of the country are economically affected by the lack of affordable housing. Despite the fact that such densely populated metropolitan areas as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and New York City receive the greatest national attention for their high housing costs, ICMA's 2014 Economic Development Survey results indicate that communities of all sizes have been economically affected by the lack of affordable housing. Among many small communities, higher housing costs may not be as significant as the fact that residents are cost-burdened as a result of low-income levels.
ICMA, the International City/County Management Association, advances professional local government worldwide. The organization's mission is to create excellence in local governance by developing and fostering professional management to build sustainable communities that improve people's lives.
ICMA is second only to the federal government in the collection, analysis, and dissemination of research focused on issues related to local government management. Through expansive partnerships with local governments, federal agencies, academic institutions, nonprofits, and philanthropic funders, the organization gathers information on such topics as housing, sustainability, homeland security, and performance measurement. ICMA is examining the following topics in 2016:
- Solar energy
- Technology and cybersecurity
- Infrastructure financing
- Public engagement
- Form of government
- Local government innovation
- Salary and compensation levels of public executives
- The role of public libraries in the 21st century.
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