What is Middle-Income Housing Affordability?

Middle-income housing affordability is important, because affordable access to quality housing has been pivotal to the democratization of prosperity that occurred in the last century in most high-income nations. Normally, the competitive market has provided middle-income housing without the need for subsidies.

Middle-income is different from low – income housing (also called “affordable housing” or “social housing”), which relies on public subsidies to serve the needs of households unable to afford the house prices or rents prevailing on the open market. Focusing on middle-income does not indicate a lesser interest in low-income housing, because subsidy eligibility requirements are tied to house prices. Better housing affordability translates into fewer households seeking housing subsidies through affordable housing programs (and less public expense).

There are two principal dimensions of middle-income housing affordability — between housing markets and within individual market over time.

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