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 three counties. At the same time, housing has become less affordable for both homeowners and renters. The rate of homelessness in Orange has increased since 2005.
Homeownership rates have increased across the region.
Orange County has experienced a slight uptick in homeownership rates, rising from 67% in 2000 to 69% in 2011-15. This was comparable to the increase in the region, the state, and Ulster. The nation’s rate was slightly lower at 64%.
The rate of homeless persons increased since 2005, but continued to have the lowest rate in the region.
In 2015, there were 13.1 homeless persons per 10,000 residents in Orange, a 20% increase from 2005. Orange’s rate was the second lowest in the region, and similiar to the 12.7 in Dutchess.
Homeownership has become less unaffordable in Orange County
Orange’s affordability ratio of 2.9 similar to the 3.0 considered affordable and increased dramatically from 2.1 in 2000. This was above the ratio for the state (2.4) and nation (2.6) . (The ratio is calculated by dividing median home value by household income.)
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 Orange spent 38% of their income on rent, above Dutchess, the state and nation. Renters in Orange were spending more of their income on rent compared to 2000, up 11 points, compared to increases of 8 points in Dutchess and 10 points in Ulster.