Locational affordability estimates now available for most Vermont counties

By: Leslie Black-Plumeau

location_affordability_portaljpgNext to housing expenses, transportation costs are the second-biggest budget item for most households.  Unfortunately, there hasn't been an easy way to fully factor transportation costs into decisions about where we live and work. The goal of a new ”Location Affordability Portal” developed by HUD is to make reliable, user-friendly data and resources on combined housing and transportation costs available to help consumers, policymakers, and developers make more informed decisions about where to live, work, and invest.  

In Vermont, the portal can be used to compare the transportation and housing affordability of locations in Bennington, Chittenden, Essex, Franklin, Grand Isle, Orange, Rutland, Washington or Windsor counties.

The portal’s “My Transportation Cost Calculator” lets users input information about their specific housing and transportation conditions.  Results describing the annual estimated housing and transportation costs based on these assumptions can help users compare the affordability of various locations. 

 The “locational affordability index” section of the portal compares the combined affordability of transporation and housing costs for various locations for the median income household in the county.  This means that regardless of the specific location within a county or tenure (renter/owner) selected by the user, the resulting index pertains to how affordable a particular location is for a household with the county-wide median income.