WHY FOCUS ON
Housing is a basic need and a human right. Many Johnson County households cannot afford a decent, stable place to live.
In addition to being difficult to afford, housing in Johnson County is highly segregated. Living in one neighborhood versus another shouldn’t determine our health, our education, or our shot at a brighter future. As a community that prides itself on justice and inclusion, Johnson County residents agree that all people should have an equal opportunity to make the most of their potential, no matter where we live.
Measuring up to this value means a commitment to fair and affordable housing. When all our neighborhoods have good homes, good schools, dependable public transportation, and strong businesses, the whole community is stronger.
Right now, our housing system isn’t fair. There are entire areas without homes that can be rented or bought at reasonable prices. There are neighborhoods that lack important resources, such as access to good jobs, safe and well-maintained public spaces, and integrated schools.
People with lower and moderate incomes are most disadvantaged by our housing system. And the problem is growing more significant, as rents and home prices steadily rise while incomes stay the same.
Each of us can work together to solve the problem of high housing costs. We can make sure that make sure that good, affordable homes and other important community resources are available not only in a few neighborhoods, but throughout Johnson County.
If we are guided by our commitment to fairness and inclusion, we will succeed in growing, together, toward a place each of us can call home.
In order for housing to be “affordable,” a household should be spending no more than 30% of total monthly income on housing-related costs.
We use the term cost-burdened to describe when a household spends more than 30% of income on housing.
When our housing costs rise above 30%, we cannot afford other basic needs, such as healthcare, food, and similar necessities.
In Johnson County, 18% of homeowners and 61% of renters are cost-burdened by their housing.