By the numbers: Affordable housing and how to do it

May 31. Charlotte ranks in the top 20 percent of most affordable cities for housing in the United States.

A new survey from WalletHub says the Charlotte region is 52nd out of 300 US cities in terms of most affordable cities for home buyers.

With the median home sales price nationwide soaring from $313,000 at the beginning of 2019 to $436,800 this year, the price of housing is national news.

WalletHub looked not only at prices and appreciation, but they measured affordability by dividing median house price by median annual household income.

Springfield, Ill., has the most affordable housing—a ratio of 1.67—which is 17.5 times cheaper than in Santa Barbara, Ca., the city with the least affordable housing, with a ratio of 29.24. Charl0tte comes in with a ratio of 5.76.


2023 will be a transition year to a more normal marketplace for housing, however, it will likely remain inflated because of inflation in materials and labor, according to J. David Chapman, Ph.D. a real estate broker and a professor at the University of Central Oklahoma.

J. David Chapman

“There is still a huge demand for housing at the bottom of the pricing sector. We will see less pricing increases at the top of the pricing sector. The middle sector will become more normal,” he said.

In short, there is still an affordable housing crisis in the US.

“The bottom will remain less affordable and tough to buy, the middle will normalize, and the higher-priced homes will likely be bargains,” he said.

How can government increase home-buying affordability?

Chapman responded:

—Evaluate the code and make changes to allow higher density.

—Allow Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). Sometimes called “granny flats” the model allows more than one dwelling on a single lot and those smaller homes are generally considered affordable housing.

—Reduce the setbacks between dwellings to allow structures to build closer together, leveraging the land costs.

But changing building code and zoning may take a long time and meet headwinds from citizens, Chapman said.

Overlay districts

The best way, he said, is through overlay districts, a planning tool used by local governments to regulate land use within a particular geographic area.

A less desirable method is to implement government policies and programs, including rent control laws, subsidies for developers to build affordable housing, tax incentives for landlords who offer affordable units, and direct financial assistance for low-income individuals and families.

“I believe that a market approach is nearly always better,” Chapman said.


One Response to “By the numbers: Affordable housing and how to do it”

  1. You forgot to mention tax the town residents. Our tax will be raised to over the cost of this.

    Which is RIDICULOUS as so much commercial is being allowed to be build in spite of resident concerns.

    So why not tax the commercial property to pay for it instead of draining your residents who line your pockets? We are SICK and TIRED of increased taxes each and every year.

    Food tax, road tax, personal property tax on vehicles, property tax, town tax, county tax, ON and ON. We are paying over 50% tax by the time it is all said and done.

    Posted by DED | May 31, 2023, 12:37 pm

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