Housing page three

Figure 3.9

Figure 3.9, gives us a picture of housing affordability in Pittsfield. More than half of the homeowners had monthly owner costs, which includes mortgage and utility payments, less than 15% of total household income. This is explained in large part by the relatively large proportion of homeowners that do not have mortgage payments (57%). The median monthly owner costs was $699 in 1999 for homeowners with a mortgage and $257 for those without a mortgage. The chart also illustrates the relatively larger proportion of income that renters pay for housing. The median rent reported in 1999 was $359 with 37% of renters devoting over 25% of household income to housing costs. Given the median household income of $29,129 in Pittsfield it appears that housing is affordable for the majority of residents, although, for the nearly 25% of households that have incomes below $15,000 housing costs are likely to be a financial burden.

As evident from Table 3.2 below, the majority of the dwelling units in Pittsfield (66%) are owner occupied and the proportion of owner occupied housing has increased since 1990. During the same period the proportion of renter occupied housing declined 6% which lead to a dramatic increase in the vacancy rate for rental housing (9.9) while the homeowner vacancy rate remained relatively constant at 2.7%

Table 3.2: Housing Occupancy Profile 1990 and 2000
1990 2000
Total housing units 1,946 1,985
Occupied housing units 1,829 94.0% 1,805 90.9%
Owner occupied 1,228 63.1% 1,311 66.0%
Renter occupied 601 30.9% 494 24.9%
Vacant housing units 117 6.0% 180 9.1%
For seasonal, recreational, or occasional use 5 0.3% 13 0.7%
Homeowner vacancy rate 2.6 2.7
Rental vacancy rate 4.5 9.9
Persons per owner-occupied unit 2.38 2.39
Persons per renter-occupied unit 1.99 1.79
Source: 1990 and 2000 Census, US Bureau of the Census

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