Housing & Transportation Affordability Study
Reframing the response to homelessness means we have to find new ways to talk about homelessness, new ideas to change the homeless system, and new data to help make better decisions. Data is one area that has traditionally focused on the problem—homelessness—rather than the solution—housing. This left our community with some important questions:
- How many people lack affordable housing?
- To what extent are households “doubled up” (living with family or friends)?
- What impact do transportation costs have on housing?
To address such questions, the Coalition spearheaded two research projects with key community partners. These projects are known collectively as the Housing & Transportation Affordability Study (PDF), which was released in August 2010. This study was designed to better understand housing affordability across our region, with deeper exploration in Grand Rapids and Kent County.
- With housing and transportation costs combined, 84,000 people live in unaffordable areas throughout West Michigan.
- In Kent County, over 4,600 households are living doubled up.
- In Grand Rapids, 48% of four-person households making $62,100 or less lack affordable housing.
In addition to the findings, the Housing & Transportation Study includes:
- Reasons for studying affordability
- Context about the choices households make that affect their ability to afford housing
- Background on how the system works
- Glossary of common terms
- Recommendations for programs, practices, planning, and policies