Housing affordability is a key indicator of how families can cope with emergencies and other day-to-day expenses because families that face burdensome housing costs have a higher risk of eviction and spend less on food, health care and retirement. Affordable housing also reduces concerns that high housing costs will lead to foreclosure and eviction. To meet the needs of all families, policies must help ensure there is a sufficient stock of affordable homes for rent and/or purchase.


Affordability of Homes


Median Housing Value

Median Family Income

This measure estimates housing affordability relative to income. The rule of thumb is that housing prices three times higher than incomes are affordable. In areas where housing values are high relative to income, many prospective homeowners are priced out of the market, prohibiting them from building home equity. Whereas high housing values benefit those who already own their homes, a high ratio of housing value to wages typically makes it less likely that someone can afford to purchase a home.

Median home values in Florida are 3.9 times greater  than median household income.


Housing Choice Vouchers are designed to help low-income families afford rental housing in the private market while simultaneously discouraging concentrations of poverty in specific communities and racial segregation in housing. Unfortunately, in many states, potential tenants may be turned away solely based on their need to use a voucher to cover all or a portion of their monthly rent. This practice is often referred to as source of income (SOI) discrimination, deepening the divisions in housing opportunity and maintaining the status quo of housing segregation.


In a study by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, jurisdictions with SOI anti-discrimination laws had greater racial integration between Black, Asian and Native American voucher recipients and their White neighbors.(12) 


As of the end of 2018, 11 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws to protect Housing Choice Voucher recipients from SOI discrimination. In 12 other states where statewide SOI anti-discrimination laws have yet to be enacted, local jurisdictions including municipal and county governments have stepped up to enact their own local-level SOI laws.