Suburban communities across the United States have different housing strengths and weaknesses; however, they have all experienced a steady rise in median housing prices. Lower housing affordability has a host of negative consequences including increased homelessness, poor health outcomes, unaddressed racial housing inequality, and lower disposable incomes.
Although research and resources often focus on urban and rural areas, an increasing number of suburban areas face housing affordability pressure from rapidly expanding major urban cores. Similar housing pressures face regional metropolitan areas (anchored by smaller cities such as Boise, ID and Spokane, WA), which serve as economic, cultural, social, or health-care hubs for surrounding rural communities.
Applied Research Fellows Craig Carpenter, Tyler Augst, and Dave Ivan from Michigan State University developed a position paper on affordable housing, focusing on first and second ring suburban cities and smaller, growing urban centers. This paper will serve as the foundation for determining future opportunities for Extension, such as the development of programming or curricula to help metropolitan leaders establish effective housing policy.