August 17 2012

Richmond, Virginia’s Growing Housing Inequality by the Numbers

ForeclosureThe growing housing crisis in America has had a great impact on Richmond, Virginia’s housing market. Since the beginning of the housing collapse in 2008, the wealthier 1% of the nation’s households have seen great success, while the remaining 99% of the nation have seen 1 in 667 housing units become foreclosed since June 2012. This growing gap has only increased as more and more Americans find themselves without employment or earning significantly less than in years past.

In Richmond, the housing market has been affected greatly because of many families inability to meet income requirements and negative media advertisements that have made them fearful of purchasing.

These issues have only increased many urban planners’ fears of a worsening housing market in Richmond, Virginia, as opposed to other cities in the state. For example, the 2010 U.S. Census revealed that Virginia has a population of 1.5 million people, with 19 percent of it being African American. Among that percentage, 51 percent of those families rented their homes, while only 27 percent of whites rented as a whole.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition’s report “Out of Reach 2012” further backed up those figures when their study revealed that there is also a huge disparity in housing cost, affordability, and wealth in Virginia. According to the organization, in order for a family of full time workers to afford a two-bedroom apartment in Virginia, he or she would have to work around 100 or more hours per week to afford a quality place. This is high number when you consider that there are 168 hours in a total week.

While the report analyzes all figures relating to the affordability of housing, the study doesn’t consider the cost of finding sustainable housing, its accessibility to schools, or the social network of families that live there. Thus, many urban planners and other experts are now forced to consider the fact that many neighborhoods in Richmond will not be sustainable long-term unless this crisis is resolved.

What do you think? Has the housing market gotten worse?

Credit: Image and data linked to sources.

Jamaal Davis

Jamaal Davis has lived in Richmond, Virginia for over 37 years, where he was born and raised. He studied Urban and Regional Planning at Virginia Commonwealth University. His interests in urban planning began in the low-income neighborhoods of Southside Richmond, Virginia. As a result of those years, he has made it his goal to affect change in his community by changing its surroundings. His passion for planning lies in his desire to understand and change the housing conditions in low-income neighborhoods. He is currently working for a private consulting firm, but he plans on obtaining a planning position within a local government. His ultimate goal is to work for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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This entry was posted on Friday, August 17th, 2012 at 4:15 pm and is filed under Community/Economic Development, Housing, Land Use, Landscape Architecture, Urban Development/Real Estate, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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