This page includes data on housing and transportation costs from the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT). Traditional definitions of residential affordability include housing costs but not transportation costs. The H+T Affordability Index was designed to measure true residential affordability by adding together housing and transportation costs as a percentage of household income. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), housing is affordable if housing costs do not exceed 30% of household income. Based on research, CNT found 15% of household income to be an attainable goal for transportation affordability. By combing this 15% with HUD’s 30% household affordability standard, CNT recommends that true residential affordability be defined as combined housing and transportation costs consuming no more than 45% of household income.
Housing cost estimates include: contract rent, mortgage payments, condominium fees, property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, utilities, and fuels. Transportation costs are a function of automobile ownership, automobile use, transit use, and the household expenditures associated with those variables. A neighborhood is defined here as a Census block group.