Housing affordability is more of a problem in Chicago than it is nationally, and almost half (48 percent) of Chicago adults claim to spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing, compared to the 31 percent of all U.S. adults who pay that percentage, a study published by the MacArthur Foundation on Thursday has shown.
More than half of African American Chicago Metro Area residents (57 percent) report paying more than 30 percent of their income on housing, compared to only 36 percent of white residents.
“[It’s] unsurprising that 70% of African Americans report having made at least one sacrifice in the past three years to pay for housing compared to 51% of whites,” the study reports. “Moreover, nearly half of African Americans (46%) have themselves been or know someone who has been evicted, foreclosed upon, or lost their housing in the past five years, compared to 38% of white Chicago-area residents.”
Findings from the national survey, which are representative of 603 Chicago Metro Area adults, also show that African Americans in the area are more skeptical that the housing crisis is over than their white and Hispanic peers. Only 12 percent of African Americans in the metro area believe that the housing crisis is over, compared to 21 percent of Hispanic and 31 percent of white residents. More than 26 percent of African American residents believe that the worst of the housing crisis has yet to come.
Black residents in Chicago suburbs have also been especially affected by the housing crisis. The study shows that compared to 39 percent of whites, the majority of African Americans (63 percent) feel that housing is a serious problem in their community. Compared to 64 percent of white residents, 76 percent of Blacks feel that it is harder to secure affordable and stable housing than it was in previous generations.
The study has also found that 22 percent of Chicago area adults feel either only somewhat stable and secure or unstable and insecure about their housing situation. This housing vulnerability affects some more than others, particularly 30 percent of city residents (compared to 18 percent of suburban residents), 33 percent of Hispanics and 35 percent of African Americans. It also impacts 37 percent of people in the area who make less than $40,000 annually.
“Housing is more than shelter; research shows that stable, affordable housing is a lifeline to educational success, health and well-being, and economic security,” said MacArthur President Julia Stasch. “There is a solid foundation of helpful policies, but more needs to be done to preserve and increase the supply of affordable housing and to address the loss of income that contributes to increased demand.”