ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (August 19, 2021) – The St. Johns Housing Partnership (SJHP), creating safe, clean, affordable housing in North Florida since 1996, is sharing their concern over the lack of affordable housing in North Florida.
This week the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported soaring building material costs, high demand and low inventory have added tens of thousands of dollars to the price of a new home and caused housing affordability to fall to its lowest level in nearly a decade during the second quarter of 2021.
“It’s an alarming trend. This means families must pay more for their housing, renters have less to get by on at the end of the month. Homeownership is out of reach for too many, and those of modest means are forced to live farther from decent jobs,” noted SJHP Executive Director Bill Lazar. “This is key, especially for some employers in North Florida who are already facing a shortage of workers.”
According to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) released this week, 56.6% of new and existing homes sold between the beginning of April and end of June were affordable to families earning the U. S. median income of $79,900. This is down sharply from the 63.1% of homes sold in the first quarter of 2021 and the lowest affordability level since the beginning of the revised series in the first quarter of 2012.
“Meanwhile, the constraints on building affordable housing locally, including building materials and labor, lending, and especially land, remain significant. Locally land is a factor. Available lots are being earmarked by market-rate developers and builders or investors,” added Lazar.
The affordable-housing shortfall is not just depressing savings and increasing the wealth gap. It is also forcing those at the bottom of the economic ladder to live farther away from those at the top and, more important, farther from economic opportunity.
ABOUT THE ST. JOHNS HOUSING PARTNERSHIP
Founded in 1996 the St. Johns Housing Partnership (SJHP) is committed to providing safe, decent, and affordable housing in North Florida. SJHP creates partnerships between public and private sectors including investors on projects that create low- and moderate-income housing, rebuilds neglected homes and revitalizes neighborhoods in disadvantaged areas while supporting programs that enhance community economic and social development including counselling on homeownership and finances. For more information visit www.sjhp.org.