Jacky Grimshaw, VP for Policy, Transportation and Community Development at Center for Neighborhood Technology, wrote an important Letter to the Editor in Tuesday’s Chicago Tribune:
“With a reported median selling price of $227,000, homebuyers feel they can get the most home for their money in Kendall County (“Kendall nation’s fastest-growing county; Locals proud despite area’s growing pains over the last decade,” Metro, March 20). Sure they have a longer daily commute to work, but they feel the trade-off is worth the affordable housing cost.
But what many buyers and renters fail to realize is the true impact of transportation costs on housing affordability—especially in outlying suburbs without employment centers, recreation and entertainment nearby.
The traditional rule of thumb for housing affordability states that individuals or families should spend no more than 30 percent of income on housing. But according to recent research by the Center for Neighborhood Technology, Kendall County families earning the average median income are spending up to an additional 26 percent of their annual income on transportation, almost as much as they spend on housing.
Contrast that with transportation costs as low as 14 percent of household income for residents of compact, transit-rich communities.”