The economy is improving, according to a new housing report, but the number of households spending more than 30-percent of their income on housing higher than ever.
The State of the Nation’s Housing report for 2013, published by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, says households that spend more than 30-percent of their income on housing are considered to be “cost-burdened.”
In New Mexico, many renters – a third of households in the state – spend more than half of their income on housing costs.
Hank Hughes is director of the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness. He says the state relies on subsidies to make housing affordable to people, “Of course those subsidies have been drying up or at best stayed the same over the years,” Hughes says, “and yet the population needing this kind of help has increased.”
Fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment in New Mexico is $750, and a household would have to earn almost $2,500 per month to afford it and not be considered “cost-burdened.”
Since the rebound of the housing market began about a year ago, more rental units have become available, at an average of $1,200 per month.