Despite declining home prices, many of the jobs created through the federal stimulus package do not pay enough to afford a home, according to a new study released today by NHC’s research affiliate the Center for Housing Policy. The study, entitled Paycheck to Paycheck: Wages and the Cost of Housing in America, compares housing costs in more than 200 U.S. metropolitan areas with the wages earned by workers in 60 occupations.
Specifically, the study takes an in-depth look at housing affordability for five construction-related occupations that may see a boost from the stimulus package, including construction managers, carpenters, equipment operators, long haul truck drivers and construction laborers. For all of these occupations except construction managers, homeownership remains unaffordable, even after the recent drop in home prices.
In addition, Paycheck to Paycheck found that in Florida, one of the states hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis, the rental market has become substantially less affordable. In the study’s nationwide ranking of metro areas from highest to lowest rents, each of the Florida rental markets studied climbed significantly up the list between 2007 and 2008. In Florida, the top three least affordable rental markets are Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Miami.
To learn more about this study, and to see where your city falls among the rankings, please visit the Paycheck to Paycheck Online Database.