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April 30, 2013 / Christian Clansky

What Funders Need to Know: Housing

“Affordable housing” can seem like a vague term, but it has a specific definition. For a home to be affordable, it means that the amount a person spends – rent/mortgage, insurance, taxes, and utilities – is less than 30% of the household income.

In the Greater Washington region, an average two-bedroom apartment costs $1,412 a month. At that rate, a household would have to earn $56,480 annually for the rent to be affordable (less than 30% of income). And to make that salary, a minimum wage worker would have to work 132 hours a week.

Housing costs decrease as you move further away from the District. But as they go down, transportation costs go up and offset savings. Environmental impact increases. Traffic increases. Family and personal time slip away. It’s a no-win scenario for our region and its residents.

In WRAG’s new installment of our What Funders Need to Know series, we take a detailed look at housing in our region – what it costs, how transportation factors in, what it means to live in Frederick compared to D.C. or Manassas or Arlington. Then we take a hard look at what our future looks like if we don’t fix this problem and suggest five ways that funders can get involved.

Read: What Funders Need to Know – Housing (April 2013)

Previously: What Funders Need to Know – Education (October 2012)

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