The National Housing Conference has released its 2018 edition of the Paycheck to Paycheck interactive database, as well as an accompanying report titled “Paycheck to Paycheck: Building Homes Affordable to Home Builders.” The Paycheck to Paycheck database allows users to explore the affordability of rental and homeownership for 81 occupations across 259 metro areas. Users are also able to compare the results across occupations and metros.
The accompanying report explores affordability challenges of five construction industry careers: Carpenters, electricians, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) mechanics, maintenance workers, and plumbers. This workforce is recognized as having competitive salaries, and is critical in the home building process. Further, this workforce typically does not require a four-year college degree.
According to the report, construction workers are generally able to afford rent of a one-bedroom unit across the 50 largest metro areas in the United States, however, affordability becomes more challenging for 2- and 3-bedroom rental units. Affordability in homeownership is also challenging, with only about half (or less) of construction workers able to afford homeownership. In Connecticut, the ability of individuals to afford rentals and homeownership in these occupations varies greatly by metro, with the most unaffordable being homeownership in the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT metro.
To ensure all people in all occupations have an affordable place to live, National Housing Conference recommends increasing people’s ability to pay for housing in two ways. First, through increasing housing supply through thoughtful funding strategies on the federal, state, and local levels. Second, through wage increases and access to housing vouchers.