New report: Many Colorado families are spending more of their income on housing than ever before
In our travels around the state in recent years, we’ve consistently heard that finding affordable housing has become a challenge for many Coloradans. A new report from Shift Research Lab, in partnership with Dr. Phyllis Resnick, delves into Colorado’s housing crisis and the factors contributing to it. The report finds Colorado’s housing crisis is largely a supply issue that could impact Coloradans for years to come.
According to the report, prior to the Great Recession, there were more housing units in the seven-county Denver metro region than households. Since the recession, however, the region has added households at an annual rate that has far outpaced that of available housing units, consuming the housing surplus. As a result, demand has surpassed supply for nearly a decade and housing prices have risen, while wages have remained relatively stagnant. The report also highlights that housing is increasingly unaffordable for most families, and more and more families are spending larger percentages of their income on housing. This is especially the case for low-income families. For example, households making an average of $50,000 or less per year, are spending more than 35 percent of their income on housing, making housing unaffordability one of the most significant threats to family economic security in Colorado.
Our most recent KIDS COUNT report highlighted that in 2015, 31 percent of all Colorado children (approximately 385,000 kids) lived in families spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing expenses. When housing costs exceed one-third of family income, families often struggle to afford other necessities like quality child care and healthy foods. These high housing costs disproportionately affect Colorado kids of color. All kids need safe, secure housing order to thrive, and the Children’s Campaign is encouraged to see new research on this issue.
You can read the full Shift Research Lab report here and join the conversation on social media here.