The high vacancy rate may explain the large increase in rental costs between 1990 and 2000 for rental property. Between 1990 and 2000 median rent increased 58% compared to a modest 45% increase in median costs of homeownership. The increase in rental costs may be a motivating factor for many renters to become homeowners.
Table 3.3, shows the percentage distribution of the different types of housing units that the people live in. Not surprisingly, an overwhelming 77% of the households live in single- family houses (1-unit detached). However, a quarter of the households, live in a variety of housing types ranging from different types of multi-family units to mobile homes.
|Table 3.2: Units in Housing Structures|
|Total housing units||1,946||1,954|
|2 to 4 units||227||11.7%||196||10.0%|
|5 to 9 units||58||3.0%||50||2.6%|
|10 or more units||43||2.2%||52||2.7%|
|Mobile home, trailer, or other||117||6.0%||119||6.1%|
|Source: 1990 and 2000 Census, US Bureau of the Census|
Pittsfield offers a variety of housing types, ranging from single family, owner occupied houses to multi-family, rented. Availability of varied housing type is important for a community to maintain affordability for all its residents. It also helps in attracting new families and individuals to the community who generally prefer to live in rental housing till they are settled in the community.