Living Paycheck to Paycheck

by | Oct 7, 2016

I recently wrote a little about the difference in measures being used to define “low income”. This past week, Chris Estes from the National Housing Conference published this post about a new calculator they have created to help better understand how the average income in certain markets compare to the cost of renting and buying the average home.

Below is the chart I created from their calculator to show a selection of careers (many of which are actually represented in our housing) compared to housing costs here in Washington, DC.


Now compare the chart above to the one below which represents the Richmond, Virginia rental market and the exact same careers.


While incomes are higher in Northern Virginia and DC, the cost of housing is significantly lower. While a plumber, administrative assistant and a high school teacher could handily afford a 2-bedroom apartment on one salary, that is not the case in our region.