Housing Affordability

One common measure of affordability is the proportion of total household income spent on housing. If a household is spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing expenses, then they are often considered to be 'cost burdened.' If that number reaches 50 percent, then the household is considered 'severely cost burdened.' 

In general, renters tend to have higher levels of housing cost burden than owners. In Westborough, 42.7% of renters are cost burdened or severely cost burdened.  For owners, 16.4% are cost burdened or severely cost burdened. 

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This data indicates a need for more affordable rental housing for households of low to moderate income. 

Affordability for Renters

Availability of rental units is one of the key demographic factors

If housing is in short supply and prices are high, low and moderate income families can find it difficult or impossible to afford living in Westborough.

This chart shows the percentage of households renting across the range of housing costs.

The chart, below, shows the percentage of households renting by income level.

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When looking at Westborough, lower income households are not a majority of renters.

This indicates that rents in Westborough may be too high for many working families, even as most renters have household incomes below the Area Mean Income, or AMI.

Affordability for Owners

The majority of owners in Westborough have income levels above our Area Mean Income. Monthly housing costs for owners also skew to the high end. 

This data indicates that well the cost burden for owners is relatively low, ownership in Westborough may be beyond the means of many households.

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How Westborough Compares

Westborough uses a standard set of communities for comparisons, known as the Data Dashboard.  

Westborough uses a standard set of communities for comparisons, known as the Data Dashboard.

Comparing Westborough to the Data Dashboard towns, Westborough’s total cost burden (cost burden + severe cost burden) for renters is 42.7%, slightly above the 40.9% average across the towns.

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For owners, the total cost burden in Westborough is 16.4%. This is better than the Data Dashboard average of 18.9%

In addition to housing availability in Westborough, the cost of housing reflects regional availability.

A lack of rental housing in neighboring communities, for example, puts additional price pressure on rental units in Westborough.

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