Working families with children are finding it harder than ever to own their homes, according to a study released Wednesday by the Center for Housing Policy.
The national trend is driven by a combination of factors: higher health-care bills, a rise in the number of single parents and soaring housing costs that have outpaced wage increases.
The effects are being felt in communities where teachers, police and firefighters can't afford to buy homes where they work.
The median home price in Denver – half cost more, half less – is $232,000. To qualify for a loan to buy that home, a potential buyer would need to earn at least $73,574 a year, according to the Center for Housing Policy.
A Weld County police officer earning $38,979 a year can afford a $135,000 house – based on mortgage guidelines that limit housing payments to 30 percent of income. The median cost of a home in the area is $185,168, however.
A Mesa County cop can afford $137,000, yet the median home price there is $151,344.