See the full report here.
Among households with the lowest incomes, there are almost twice as many households as there are affordable rental units in Colorado. According to a report released today by the Colorado Division of Housing, there are 54 rental units affordable to every 100 households that earn less than $20,000. The report assumes that households earning $20,000 can afford a monthly rent payment of $500, or 30 percent of monthly income.
The report, which is based on Census Bureau data collected from 2005 to 2009, stated that there are 47 affordable rental units for every 100 households earning less than $15,000 per year, and 57 units for every 100 households at an income level below $10,000. For households at the $35,000 income level, there are 109 rental units affordable to every 100 households.
“The greatest challenges in affordable housing are at the lowest income levels where there are few units available at affordable rent levels.” said Pat Coyle, Director of the Colorado Division of Housing. “However, even when units are available, they may be inappropriate for many families if they are dilapidated or far from public transit or too small, and this further adds to the number of rent burdened households in Colorado.”
In the report, units are deemed affordable if the household pays no more than 30 percent of monthly income to rent. Households that pay more than 30 percent of income for housing are described as “rent burdened.”
At all income levels, there were approximately 282,200 rent burdened households in Colorado, which is equal to 47 percent of all renter households. 51 percent of all rent burdened households are at income levels below $20,000 per year.
The report also noted that in Colorado there are “230,900 households (39 percent of all renter households) paying 35 percent or more of income toward housing. Approximately 142,100 households (24 percent of all renter households) pay 50 percent or more of income toward housing.”
The availability of affordable rental units varied across the state. In the metro Denver area, there were 46 units affordable to every 100 households earning less than $10,000, and 43 units affordable for each 100 households earning less than $20,000. Affordable rentals were more accessible in the Grand Junction area where there were 81 units affordable to every 100 households earning less than $10,000, and 66 units affordable to every 100 households earning less than $20,000.
For households earning $35,000 in all areas except the Boulder area, there were at least 100 units affordable to every 100 households. In the Boulder area there were 77 units for households earning $35,000.
The areas with the largest percentages of rent burdened households were the Boulder area and the Fort Collins-Loveland area where 56 percent and 54 percent of households were rent burdened, respectively. The areas with the smallest percentages of rent burdened households were the Colorado Springs and Grand Junction areas where the proportion of households that were rent burdened was 45 percent and 41 percent, respectively.