For decades, Delaware County has been the wealthiest and fastest-growing county in Ohio, but, surprisingly, more than 11% of Delaware County residents - 24,000 people - struggle financially. By shopping at Common Ground for their material needs, folks redirect income to other essential expenses like housing, groceries, utilities, transportation, and healthcare.
More than 16,000 Delaware County households have employment but live on strained incomes with limited assets. About 4,200 of those households include least one member 55 years old or older, including approximately 6,200 of our senior neighbors. Food prices increased by 10% and energy prices by 35% in the past year, with inflation reaching 8.6%. Prices continue to rise, while household incomes are stagnant and insufficient to make ends meet.
Due to lack of affordable housing, many are homeless, living with family, or in transitional housing waiting for affordable housing opportunities. Of the folks who do have housing, about 20% of homeowners and 40% of renters are cost-burdened, spending more than 30% of their income on housing. Rent for the smallest apartments are affordable only for households earning $30,000 or more per year, and there are waiting lists for low-income units.