Housing Virginia has released the most recent Sourcebook update, which brings quarterly data sets up to 2015 Q4 and annually updated data to its most recently available year. Be sure to take a few minutes to visit the site and explore our newly updated data. If you’re a first-time user, you can watch our webinar video for a 30-minute tutorial on how to best utilize Sourcebook.
One of the data points that received its annual update is the Housing Cost Burden, or the number of households paying more than 30% of their annual income on housing cost alone.
Between 2013 and 2014, the state overall saw a 0.2% increase in housing cost burdened households. This equates to 14,763 more households statewide that are paying more than 30% of their income on housing.
Since its peak of 1,033,284 households in 2010, the number of cost burdened households has hovered just below 1 million for the past several years. This indicates that while some inroads have been made in reducing the number of cost burdened households since the start of the recession, there is still a significant demand for quality affordable housing throughout the state.
The hidden trend within the Housing Cost Burden data is in the change in housing cost burden by tenure. Since 2007, the number of cost-burdened owners in Virginia has dropped by 20%, but the number of cost-burdened renters has risen by 31%. In 2013, the total number of cost-burdened renters surpassed that of owners for the first time.
Geographically, the areas of the state experiencing a rise in housing cost burdened households tend to be in the smaller metro areas and rural localities where incomes are flat or declining and fewer affordable housing options.
Housing Virginia is sponsoring a Rural Housing Network Initiative that will analyze the needs and gaps of housing and service providers in the rural areas of the state. Housing Cost Burden is only one indicator of a need for a larger supply of quality affordable housing, but many of the small-scale rural-based developers and nonprofits face a number of challenges in being able to adequately meet this demand.
We will be meeting face-to-face with these organizations this summer to develop a comprehensive set of rural housing policy recommendations in the fall. If you haven’t already, you can fill out our rural needs/gaps survey here. Stay tuned for more information about our regional meetings, and if you’d like to be included in our rural housing mailing list, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.