Study examines COVID-19’s impact on housing market in Springfield

March 4, 2021

Written by Hector Molina, WWLP

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A recent housing study has found more than half of all renters in The Pioneer Valley are “cost burdened.”

That means more than 30 percent of their income is going toward housing. Something that more than half of Black and Hispanic households in the Greater Springfield area are dealing with, according to The UMass Donahue Institute.

Affordable housing is something City Councilor Jesse Lederman has been working to address for years. He told 22News the COVID-19 crisis has brought a deeper focus into the inequity between wages and cost of housing.

“We have individuals who are working full time and they still can’t afford housing,” said Lederman. “You look at the cost of housing here in Springfield, it continues to increase while wages don’t keep up with that.”

Accessibility has been an issue as well.

As of 2020, housing unit demand has exceeded housing units by more than 11,000. A gap Lederman plans to close.

“One of the things we looked at is what type of mix, in terms of affordable and market rate housing and other subsidies to make sure we aren’t pricing individuals out of the city of Springfield,” he continued.

Phase 2 of this study has already begun and is expected to be completed later this year.

City Councilor Jesse Lederman plans to hold a hearing on phase 1 findings. No date has been scheduled.