Multi Residential Trends and Hot Topics

ULI 2021 Home Attainability Index Released

National – The Urban Land Institute (ULI) recently released its 2021 Home Attainability Index, which analyzes more than 110 U.S. metro areas across 30 metrics of housing affordability and equity.

A comprehensive data-informed study from the ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing highlights how the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated a crisis of middle-income households being able to find attainable homes, with frontline workers faring particularly badly. It identifies gaps in home attainability across the U.S. and highlights occupations that have been significantly affected by the global pandemic and the resulting economic disruption.

The ULI Terwilliger Center’s 2021 Home Attainability Index provides a high-level snapshot of the extent to which a housing market provides a range of housing choices attainable to the regional workforce, with an intentional focus on issues related to racial, socioeconomic, and intraregional disparities and inequities. The index is designed to support local municipalities and members of the development community who are working to address longstanding challenges related to home affordability. It includes an interactive spreadsheet enabling users to filter and segment data via various metrics. Over time, the index will enable national and regional comparisons to inform decisions about housing production, policy, and financing.

Since the release of a pilot edition of the index in 2020, the center has worked with a national cross-sector group of partners, including the National Housing Conference and National Low Income Housing Coalition, to expand and improve the resource. It now has an array of 30 housing and equity related metrics across five categories, including overall affordability, homeownership attainability, rental attainability, neighborhood opportunity and access, and housing production. It includes data on the 100 most populous metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in the U.S., as well as an additional 12 MSAs served by ULI district councils.

As part of the suite of index-related resources, the ULI Terwilliger Center released a national summary report which found that the most severe cost burdens among middle-income households are predominantly found in the most populous regions. However, there is a nationwide lack of attainable homes for critical members of the workforce that is not limited to the United States’ most vibrant metropolitan economies. In particular, there is a national struggle for lower-income households to find attainable rental units, and segregation – both by income and race – cuts across market types and geographies. Additionally, high housing costs threaten to worsen racial and socioeconomic disparities.

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