Making housing more affordable in Ithaca is often a talking point for local politicians running for office or local activists — but what really is affordable housing? And why is it such an important issue? 

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development defines affordable housing as housing that costs 30 percent or less of a household’s income. So when we talk about rent-burdened or cost-burdened Ithacans, we’re talking about anyone who pays 3 dollars or more in rent or mortgage for every 10 dollars they make.

Seventy-two percent of Ithacans are rent-burdened, making most of the city unaffordable. The Ithaca Voice explores this and other issues revolving around Ithaca’s housing crisis. Look for HOME –– an exploration of the past, present and future of housing in Ithaca.