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The Affordability of Adequate Housing


  • Donald L. Lerman
  • William J. Reeder


A "quality-based" measure of housing affordability problems employing the cost of housing just meeting adequacy standards is proposed as an improvement over the conventional "high" rent-to-income criterion. Based on "Annual Housing Survey" data, affordability difficulties grew between 1975 and 1983 by either measure. The conventional measure, however, overestimated the extent of quality-based affordability difficulty for renters by 20% in 1975 and 24% in 1983 based upon Section 8 housing quality standards. In addition, 35% of rental households with an affordability problem by the conventional measure did not have an affordability problem by the quality-based measure, while 19 to 23% of rental households found to have an affordability problem by the quality-based measure were not so classified using the conventional measure. Copyright American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Donald L. Lerman & William J. Reeder, 1987. "The Affordability of Adequate Housing," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 15(4), pages 389-404.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reesec:v:15:y:1987:i:4:p:389-404

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    Cited by:

    1. Andrea Kunnert, 2016. "Housing Affordability in Austria. Tailoring the Ratio Approach in a Simple yet Effective Way," WIFO Working Papers 520, WIFO.
    2. Gawel, Erik & Sigel, Katja & Bretschneider, Wolfgang, 2011. "Affordability of water supply in Mongolia: Empirical lessons for measuring affordability," UFZ Discussion Papers 9/2011, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Division of Social Sciences (ÖKUS).
    3. Charalambos Pitros, 2014. "UK housing bubble case study analysis: The ‘‘behaviour’’ of UK housing bubbles and the ‘‘affordability’’ parameter," ERES eres2014_4, European Real Estate Society (ERES).
    4. Louis-Francois PAU, 2009. "Enabling Mobile Communications for the Needy: Affordability Methodology, and Approaches to Requalify Universal Service Measures," Informatica Economica, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 13(2), pages 128-135.
    5. Andrea Kunnert, 2016. "Housing Affordability in Austria by Age and Year of Move-in. Application of the Residual Income and Tailored Ratio Approach," WIFO Working Papers 521, WIFO.
    6. Filali, Radhouane, 2008. "Analyse des conditions de l'habitat en Tunisie: une approche par la statistique multivariée
      [Housing condition analysis in Tunisia: A multivariate approach]
      ," MPRA Paper 12196, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Thalmann, Philippe, 2003. "'House poor' or simply 'poor'?," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 291-317, December.

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