how is the vision coming along?
If the Town has been working toward this vision for so long, how much progress has been made? In truth, the Town has had mixed results.
78% of the housing stock is single-family homes. This has been slowly trending down over the years, which is a good sign for housing diversity.
Of all homes constructed between 2004 and 2017, 55% were single-family.
More recently, however, of all homes constructed between 2014 and 2018, 93% were single-family.
28% of the housing stock is renter-occupied. This is down from 1990 (30%), which is generally not a good sign for housing diversity.
As of 2004, about 40% of residential development was in the “core” area of the Central Villages. As of 2018, that number had ticked up slightly to just under 42%. Of the 1,420 new residential homes built between 2004 and 2018, about 53% were constructed in the core area. This represents progress, but still means that nearly half of all new residential development is occurring outside the core area.
According to Housing Works RI’s 2018 Housing Fact Book, as of 2017 . . .
o The Town’s median household income was $73,801.
o The median price of a single-family home in South Kingstown was $349,000. It would take an annual income
of $97,050 to afford this.
o The average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment in South Kingstown was $1,355. It would take an annual income
of $54,200 to afford this.
5.6% of South Kingstown’s housing stock is considered low-moderate income. The Town has a way to go toward reaching the State’s 10% goal.
28% of owners and 53% of renters spend more than 30% of their incomes on housing, and these numbers have been rising. This means housing is becoming more expensive compared to people’s incomes.
What does this all mean? South Kingstown has made progress in some areas. Most notably, there are more alternatives to single-family homes today, and the stock of low-moderate income homes has been growing. Also, the Town’s accessory apartment policy has created many new homes that provide a smaller, naturally more affordable option for people all over town.
On the other hand, the cost of housing continues to increase, more people and families are spending a large portion of their incomes on housing, the percentage of rental opportunities has been ticking down, and much new residential development is still occurring outside the desired core area.
We still have a way to go to implement our vision. That’s what this project is all about!