Working Class Americans Have Problems Affording Homes In Their Communities

Teachers, first responders, and restaurant workers are being priced out of popular housing markets

April 12, 2017

Major cities such as Chicago and San Francisco have a number of world-class restaurants. The people who work at these establishments are having a difficult time living nearby.

Trulia examined housing affordability for the working class in the nation’s 100 largest metros, focusing on teachers, first responders, restaurant workers, and doctors. Affordability is defined as a housing-cost-to-income ratio of 31 percent or less.

Restaurant workers, who earn around $20,000 a year, have the toughest time finding a home. They can only afford less than 10 percent of the available homes in 56 of 93 metros.

California offers equal opportunity when it comes to affordability. Several metros, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego, are too expensive for most teachers and first responders. Even high-income doctors consider San Francisco unaffordable.

At the other end of the spectrum, Dayton, Ohio appeared in the top 10 list of most affordable housing markets for each of the occupations analyzed. Restaurant workers can afford nearly a third of the homes for sale. Meanwhile, teachers, first responders and doctors could buy most of the homes on the market as 83.3%, 75.0% and 99.6% of homes are affordable to workers in these occupations, respectively.

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