• The Rochesterian in Your Inbox:

    Join 642 other subscribers

Housing Costs


We like to say Rochester is a really affordable place to live. But one-third of households in the Rochester region are struggling with housing costs, according to a study by Harvard University. (See interactive map.)

A household is considered “burdened” if it is paying more than 30 percent of its income on housing costs. Thirty-three percent of households in our region are burdened, slightly lower than then 35 percent national rate. Approximately 1 in 6 households – 16 percent face severe housing costs, meaning they’re spending more than half their income on housing. Nationally, 17 percent of households are severely burdened.


Housing Costs


The picture for renters is bleaker. More than half – 53 percent – of Rochester area renters are spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing. That’s higher than the national rate of 49 percent. Thirty percent of Rochester area renters are severely burdened, paying more than half of their income toward housing costs. That’s also higher than the national rate of 27 percent.

The median household income for Rochester area renters is $26,000. The median monthly cost for renters is $770.

Rochester ranks 103rd out of 381 metros in the share of renters who are burdened. It seems the area needs more affordable housing options.


Housing Costs


But even homeowners are feeling pressure. The study says nearly 1 in 4 homeowners  are burdened. Nearly 1 in 10 are severely burdened. The median monthly home ownership cost is $1,019. The median household income for homeowners is $65,000. Rochester ranks 193rd out of 381 metros on homeowner burden.

The report calls on the federal government to take a strong role in assisting the housing market. Mortgage rates, as well as FHA insurance and guarantee premiums play a role. The study also says rental assistance is also extremely important for lower-income households, not only to ease the financial burden, but to help families live in higher-quality housing in better neighborhoods.


Links of the Day:


– Wegmans PILOT has expired in Geneva and now it wants its assessment lowered.

– There’s a big risk in asking colleges to take over high schools. They can just up and leave.

– One in three Americans has been arrested. Even if the charges are dropped, an arrest may come back to haunt you.

– Now we’re militarizing school police officers, too.

– Los Angeles wants to reduce the number of students arrested in schools. Here’s a thought: Don’t have cops in schools if you don’t want them to act like cops.

– Are you noticing there’s not a lot of Ferguson in your Facebook news feed? There’s a reason.

How Kansas City is luring Millennials.

– The “eternal flame” is drawing people to Orchard Park.

– Should viral memes dictate our charitable giving? I got killed on Facebook for saying I resented the peer pressure involved in the ice bucket challenge. But the distortion of my words and the vicious personal attacks on me that resulted from my post seemed to validate my point. Peer pressure? What peer pressure!