Housing Affordability Matters

How and where we are housed are two of the most important factors behind many of life’s outcomes. Research shows that access to healthy, affordable housing significantly impacts overall wellbeing, including economic stability, employment, and educational outcomes.

A Place to Call Home

​Wherever we are in life, a place to call home is paramount to our well-being and often the source of lifelong memories. From childhood celebrations to the thrill of our first apartment or home to empty-nesting and beyond, home is a part of who we are.

That is why HousingWorks RI believes that all Rhode Islanders, regardless of their income, deserve a safe, quality home that is affordable.

A Home for Your Budget

Whether you are an hourly wage earner, a recent college graduate, an up-and-coming entrepreneur or a retiree, you deserve a home that fits your budget. Housing is considered “affordable” when it costs no more than 30% of your gross income. For a minimum wage-earner working full time, an affordable apartment would cost no more than $468 a month. For a median-income household in RI, an affordable home would be no more than $1,421 a month. By spending up to 30 percent of your income on housing you are able to afford other necessary items like food, health care, transportation, and childcare.

Housing is considered affordable when it costs no more than 30% of your gross income.

Are You Cost-Burdened?

When you pay more than 30% of your gross income for housing, you are considered “cost-burdened.” Being cost-burdened not only has an immediate negative impact on your household, but it also costs our state’s economy in dollars that could be spent elsewhere by Rhode Islanders. In 2019, HousingWorks RI examined the decreased purchasing power of our cost-burdened households. We found that nearly 124,000 households could have had spent more than $733 million actively participating in their local economy, building wealth, or affording daily necessities.

Keeping Homes Affordable for the Long-Term

For those Rhode Islanders of modest means, HousingWorks RI and its partners believe it is an important part of our state’s economy to ensure that there is a stock of homes that remain “affordable” for the long-term, so that regardless of the ups and downs of the housing market and larger economy, there is always a place to call home.

For a deeper analysis of housing affordability in Rhode Island please visit our Research & Policy page.

How does affordability differ across Rhode Island?

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One Empire Plaza
Providence, RI 02903

RI Alliance for Healthy Homes

A project of
HousingWorks RI