10 Least Affordable Cities to Live in the US

Beggars, suffering from a lack of affordable housing, on the steps of a town hall

Beggars, suffering from a lack of affordable housing, on the steps of a town hall | Hulton Archive/Getty Images

In many parts of the country, affordable housing is a hot topic of discussion. Many cities, seeing an influx of new arrivals from around the country and world, are experiencing drastic demographic and population changes, leading to gentrification and clashes between the classes. In cities like San Francisco, the affordable housing fight has been on full display for nearly a decade now. In other cities, it’s just getting started.

While there are plenty of places across the nation that allow for a safe, happy middle-class lifestyle, many cities are increasingly becoming destinations only for wealthy. When rents increase 200% overnight, as is happening in some places, there really isn’t much that people can do besides move.

Affordable housing in the U.S.

The problem with trying to pinpoint what makes housing “affordable” is that the country is so vast — with huge variations in population makeup and incomes — that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. What’s affordable for one family in one city can be completely different in another city. It makes figuring out the most “unaffordable” areas difficult to do. But to take the best approach, we’re going to use the Housing Opportunity Index, a report compiled by Wells Fargo and the National Association of Home Builders.

Using their numbers, we can see which metro areas and cities are the least affordable for the majority of Americans. If you’re planning on pursuing the American dream in any shape or form, it’s probably not going to come to fruition in one of these 10 cities.

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