Tuesday, April 14, 2009

NLHC Data: Oregon's Renter Affordability Ranking Slips a Notch But Remains in Middle of Pack.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition [NLIHC] Out of Reach study for 2008-2009 was released today HERE.

Housing Wage State Ranking
Each year one set of NLIHC data released is a state ranking on the "housing wage", the hourly wage required for a family to be able to afford the 2 bedroom HUD Fair Market Rent for that state.

A HIGHER state ranking means a state is LESS affordable to renters; the worst ranking therefore would be 51, and the best 1. (The 51 areas include the District of Columbia. In order to allow comparison to 2000 my rankings exclude one of NLIHC areas; I exclude Puerto Rico, so my rankings may vary slightly from those posted by NLIHC).

My analysis: Housing wage state ranking for Oregon
1. In 2000 Oregon ranked 30th.
2. In 2002 it improved to 29th
3. In 2004 it improved to 25th
4. In 2006 it remained at 25th
5. In 2008 it improved to 24th
6. In 2009 Oregon's ranking dropped back to 25th.

My 2 page PDF compilation and table of two bedroom state housing wage data from 2000-2009 NLIHC Out of Reach studies is HERE.

Housing Wage $$ and % Change for 2009:
The 2009 Oregon housing wage was $14.54. Without adjusting for inflation/wage growth the housing wage increased by:
1. $2.87/25% since 2000. (Washington State grew by 33%)
2. $.67/4.8% since 2008. (Washington State grew by 5.4%)

Conclusion: Using this NLIHC measure Oregon's renter affordability slipped one notch in 2009; has improved since 2000; and Oregon remains firmly in the middle of the pack of all states.(Note that this measure effectively tracks changes in HUD 2 bedroom Fair Market Rents only, and not changes in actual family incomes).

Additional Perspectives: 273,000 Oregonians live in Renter HH’s paying more than 50% of their income for rent; 2/3rds of lowest income renters have that burden.

My Prior Analysis
While I have focused on changes in Oregon’s relative standing using the NLIHC study, there is NO doubt that cost burdens for renters are high, and especially so for very low income renters.

I did an extensive analysis HERE that points out that in 2007 24.2% of ALL Renter HH’s in Oregon paid more than 50% of their income for rent, compared to only 12.4% of homeowners.

Prior Center for Budget and Policy Priority Analysis
Page 5 of a Fall 2008 CBPP state analysis HERE of assisted housing and renters shows that there are 118,837 households paying more than 50% of their income for rent, with 2/3rds of those being households with incomes less than 30% of median family income.

Using the 2.3 persons per Oregon renter household population estimate from the 2007 American Community Survey, that’s about 273,325 Oregonians living in renter households that pay more than 50% of their income for rent.

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