Housing Resource Roundup
Did you know www.housingdata.org has a trove of information on housing in Vermont as well as every county and town in the state? In addition to a recent overhaul of the website that now can produce beautiful infographics for a wealth of data points, the website is constantly adding new data to its reporting features. The most recent update allows users to view median rents by bedroom size, for a much a richer picture of housing affordability. This is what housing affordability looks like in Addison County:
ACCT recently conducted an assessment of the housing environment in Addison County as part of its strategic planning process, and gleaned the following information from this helpful resource:
As helpful as this data is, it is still only a statistic, and with the small sample size of our rural areas, sometimes the data doesn't seem to match reality. Take the median rents shown above--have you gone on Craigslist recently to try to find an apartment? If so, you probably know that finding a one-bedroom apartment for less than $800/mo including utilities feels about as likely as finding a unicorn. Here's what we found when we took a snapshot of Craigslist in January 2019:
At ACCT, we try to use our own internal data to track our own impact as well. Our median apartment rent is $805 always including heat, and sometimes including electricity as well. For a one-bedroom, average rent is $725. Of our 227 renter households, 29% pay the contract rent amount while the reminder have either a project-based subsidy or a tenant-based voucher like Section 8. Of those with a subsidy, the average tenant portion of rent is $318. That is considered "affordable" to a household earning $12,720 a year.
Finally, it's always good to complement data with real live stories. Brave Little State this month tackled housing affordability in Vermont, and the episode is definitely worth a listen! Check it out at bit.ly/BLShousing.
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