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 2010-14, homeownership has increased in all three counties. At the same time, housing has become less affordable for both homeowners and renters. Between 2005 and 2014, 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 70% in 2009-13. This was comparable to the increase in the region, while the state remained flat. Dutchess had a higher homeownership rate than Orange (69%) and on par with Ulster in 2009-13.
Dutchess experienced an increase in the rate of homeless persons since 2005, contrary to the state trend. In 2014, there were 13.6 homeless persons per 10,000 residents in Dutchess, above the 11.2 in Orange but below the 18.9 in Ulster. Dutchess had a growth rate of 9% compared to a 4% decline in the state and a 30% decline in the nation.
Homeownership has become less affordable in Dutchess County.
Dutchess had the worst affordability ratio in the region at 3.1, above the 3.0 considered affordable as well as the ratio for the state and the nation (both 2.5). (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 2010-14, similar to state and national trends.
Rental housing in the county was also above the federal affordability guideline that housing should cost no more than 30% of household income. In 2010-14, renters in Dutchess spent 34% of their income on rent, similar to Ulster and Orange (both 38%) as well as the nation (33%). Renters in Dutchess were also spending more of their income on rent compared to 2000, up 7 points, compared to increases of 11 points in Orange and 9 points in Ulster.