Housing, more often then not, refers to either the arrangement and designated use of residences or specific homes, collectively, for the exclusive purpose of housing individuals-by an agency, having other implications-for the explicit purpose of sheltering individuals. Usually, housing is associated with the tenure of a tenancy, together with accompanying facilities such as kitchens, bedrooms and toilets, in establishments built before 1947. In recent years, however, housing has increasingly become a more generic term, to incorporate different types of dwellings designed for various economic classes, lifestyles and demographics. In countries like Australia, for example, housing can now be seen to include both rental and owner-occupancy models.
The availability of housing is notoriously difficult to assess, largely due to its relative ‘social construction’ since the market has historically been driven by local demand and not supply. This means that factors such as proximity to amenities, age mix and income levels can play a relatively large role in pricing a house, which can make the search for an affordable apartment or house considerably more difficult than it might otherwise be. To address these issues, an independent housing affordability provider in your area will typically conduct comprehensive research based on current and surrounding real estate market trends, employment rates, population size and other relevant benchmarks. These reports will take into consideration such things as average annual salaries, employment rates, average ages and other key indicators. After gathering a variety of relevant data from your area, the provider will then create a housing affordability index using this information. This housing affordability index will then be used to help rate your local area’s housing facilities, the lowest being your neighbourhood, followed by the next most affordable postal code and, finally, the national average.
For a more detailed explanation of how your local area measures up to international standards, you can contact a housing specialist in your area. Housing specialists are usually prepared to provide you with both quantitative and qualitative data analysis on housing costs in your local area. They can also assist with ensuring that you attain appropriate rent control legislation for your region. Most housing specialists also work closely with other local agencies and organizations to ensure that all of your rent-related needs are met. A housing specialist is there to guide you through any red flags or other issues that could be contributing to an affordable housing affordability gap in your local area.