Study Examines Housing Instability In The Springfield Area
A new housing study of the greater Springfield area shows just how prevalent housing instability is in the area. The problem is especially acute for people of color.
Mark Melnik, director of economic and public policy research at the UMass Donahue Institute, led the project. He said the study looked at how many people are burdened by housing costs – spending at least 30% of their income on a place to live.
"Renters are much more likely to be housing burdened than owners, and people of color are much more likely to be renters than their white counterparts," Melnik said.
The study showed of white renters, 45% are cost-burdened when it comes to housing expenses. The rate is 53% for Black renters and 56% for Hispanic renters.
Melnik said the COVID-19 pandemic has been a great revealer of social inequality in the housing market.
"The populations that are most impacted by the economic ramifications of COVID-19 were the same populations that were most tenuous and vulnerable in the first place," Melnik said.
The study also showed foreclosures remain a problem in Springfield. Between 2015 and 2019, 35% of the region's foreclosures occurred in Springfield. That's despite the city having only 15% of the area's owner-occupied homes.