A higher share of Phoenix neighborhoods are out of reach for those families than are New York City neighborhoods for median-income earners there, the center said.
The analysis reflects a growing realization that the affordability of a neighborhood varies significantly by not only housing but also average transportation costs. And when those costs are heavy, they burden not only individual households but also a whole region's economy.
The concept is helping shape new federal and state policies to encourage development of more compact communities that aren't so far-flung and promote less driving.
In the Valley, most of the affordable areas lie within Loop 101, based on neighborhood averages for housing prices, travel patterns and transit availability. The West Valley, all of Chandler and Gilbert and most of Scottsdale and north Phoenix are unaffordable to median earners, who make $44,752 a year.
And the length of commutes is not the dominant factor.
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