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The workers homeownership left behind

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Despite low interest rates and home price drops across the country, many key community and "green economy" workers still cannot afford to purchase a home, according to a recent study by the Center for Housing Policy, the research affiliate of the nonprofit and nonpartisan National Housing Conference. "Paycheck to Paycheck: Wages and the Cost of Housing in America" looked at the wages for more than 60 occupations in more than 200 metropolitan areas and compared them with local home prices and rents. Between 2008 and 2009, the income needed to purchase a median-priced home fell in 93 percent of the markets studied, while the income needed fell a median of 9.1 percent, the study said. Even so, the study looked at two groups for whom housing remains unaffordable to some extent: green economy workers, including electrical or environmental engineering technicians, heating and air-conditioning mechanics, maintenance and repair workers and insulation workers, among oth...