Housing fulfills the basic human need for shelter and is a strong measure of a community's cost of living, relative wealth and general prosperity. In this section, we highlight the trends for 3 indicators: 1) homeownership rates; 2) housing affordability for homeowners; and 3) housing affordability for renters.
In all cases, comparisons to state statistics reflect the state excluding New York City.
Between 2000 and 2011-15, homeownership has increased in two of the three counties. At the same time, housing has become less affordable for both homeowners and renters. Between 2005 and 2015, the rate of homelessness increased in Dutchess.
Homeownership rates have increased across the region.
Dutchess County experienced an uptick in homeownership rates, rising from 69% in 2000 to 71% in 2006-10 before dropping back to 69% in 2011-15. This was comparable to the state which also remained flat. Dutchess was on par with Orange and Ulster in 2011-15.
Dutchess experienced an increase in the rate of homeless persons since 2005, contrary to the state trend. In 2015, there were 12.7 homeless persons per 10,000 residents in Dutchess, similar to the 13.1 in Orange but below the 19 in Ulster. Dutchess had a growth rate of 2% compared to a 3% decline in the state and a 31% decline in the nation.
Homeownership has become less affordable in Dutchess County.
Dutchess and Ulster both had an affordability ratio in the region at 3.0, on par with the 3.0 considered affordable, but higher than the ratio for the state (2.4) and the nation (2.6). (The ratio is calculated by dividing median home value by household income.) The ratio in 2000 was 2.2.
Rental housing has become less affordable between 2000 and 2011-15, similar to state and national trends.
Rental housing in the county was above the federal affordability guideline that housing should cost no more than 30% of household income. In 2011-15, renters in Dutchess spent 35% of their income on rent, similar to Ulster and Orange (39% and 38% respectively) as well as the nation (33%). Renters in Dutchess were also spending more of their income on rent compared to 2000, up 8 points, compared to increases of 11 points in Orange and 10 points in Ulster.