Home » Issues » Housing » Affordable Housing

Affordable Housing

When a family pays more than 30 percent of its monthly income towards housing, their housing expense is considered unaffordable, putting them in an even more vulnerable position during economically difficult times.

The burden of unaffordable housing puts a strain on funds for other basic needs, such as food, medical expenses, education, and savings. Across Illinois, more than half of Latino renters and homeowners are burdened by excessive housing costs—a frustrating number that is mirrored by statistics for  Latino renters and homeowners in the City of Chicago. Nearly 70 percent of Chicago’s Latino households are considered low-income, meaning that a family of four earns less than $60,000 annually.  Even as housing counselors recommend that families not spend more than 30 percent of their household income on housing—a figure that works out to be approximately $1,000 monthly for the average Latino family in the City of Chicago—more than half of local Latinos are forced to spend more, per 2011 Census data.  Given that the average Latino household is approximately four people, families are hard-pressed to rent a three-bedroom apartment for $1,000/month in Chicago, a market where the going rate for such a space is $1,200. And Latino homeowners, many of whom were targeted for high-cost, sub-prime loans before the real estate bubble burst, now struggle to make costly mortgage payments, putting them at risk of losing their hard-earned homes.

Photo: Olga Lopez