Housing and Transportation Affordability
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DRAFT3f. Housing and Transportation Affordability

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Housing Expense (PDF)

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Transportation Expense (PDF)

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Combined Expense (PDF)
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Housing and transportation are the two largest cost-of-living items for typical households. The maps show that while housing costs are sometimes less in areas further from the city center, these same outer areas also have more expensive transportation costs.

These three maps show how households costs for housing, transportation, and housing and transportation combined, vary across the city.


Increasingly, housing affordability is seen as a function not just of income and direct housing costs but also of location. Given the high (and rising) costs of transportation, a home’s proximity to jobs, transit, shopping and services greatly affects its affordability. In Portland, many of the neighborhoods with the best access to jobs, transit and services also have become the most expensive, leading lower income households to move farther out, where rents and housing prices are lower but transportation costs are higher. The combined housing and transportation costs leave many lower income households “cost burdened,” meaning that they spend more than the recommended maximum of 30 percent of their household income on housing and associated transportation.

Although Portland has a substantial supply of subsidized rental housing, supply is not equal to demand. Housing prices and rents are most affordable in areas to the north and east, farthest from the city’s center, which is the region’s largest job center. The transportation costs and commuting times for households seeking affordable housing in these areas are likely to be high.