Boston Foreclosures for Sale Not Enough to Solve Workers Home Shortage

by Peter Vernon on cities

Housing units located near major employment areas in the city remain unaffordable for most workers despite the decline of housing values caused by the recession and the large number of Boston foreclosures for sale. This finding is part of a research study from the Urban Land Institute Terwillinger Center for Workforce Housing.

Although major areas in the metro area have ample supplies of cheap foreclosed properties, including Wachovia homes for sale, the study reveals that majority of workers are still unable to afford most of them. The study examined the availability of rental and for sale houses located in the city's employment hubs.

According to the report, most housing units in these areas, even the supposedly low-priced Massachusetts foreclosure homes, are beyond the financial reach of workers whose incomes range between 60 and 100% of the area median income. The U.S. Census Bureau has revealed that as of 2008; around 23% or over 600,000 residents belong to this range of income.

The Institute's study analyzed the affordability of housing, including Boston foreclosures for sale, which are within a 45-minute commute from the work centers of the city. Although the median income of most households in Boston is relatively higher than other metro areas in the U.S., the study found that there is till a shortage of affordable housing for employees in the city.

The research reveals that around 25,000 home units are needed to fill the gap. The shortage is expected to get worse in the coming decade, even counting the foreclosed homes for sale that should have been affordable to the city's workforce. Over 11,000 homes are projected to be needed further in the coming ten-year period as household numbers are expected to increase along with the workforce.

The report also claims that the shortage affects households that have a minimum of three persons living together. An estimated 40% of the workforce living near or at the hubs is comprised of families that have at least three members.

The bigger the family, the more difficult it is to find affordable dwellings near the employment areas, the study reveals. And although there are big numbers of Boston foreclosures for sale in the workforce centers, they are reportedly not enough to narrow the gap.

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