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The term affordable housing addresses the relationship between the cost of providing adequate housing and a household's ability to pay. Housing affordability is measured as a percentage of income: Housing that consumes less than 30 to 40 percent of total household income is considered affordable. People at any income level can find affordable housing a problem, but it mostly afflicts poor and middle-class households since the private market rarely produces a sufficient amount of housing to meet their needs. As a result, governments often regulate housing and finance markets and provide subsidies to ensure that housing is affordable to households no matter their income.

In the United States, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has created a measure called the area median income ...

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