Transportation and housing are generally the two most significant expenses for households. As a result, a region’s affordability is increasingly being examined specifically based on the cost of these two major domains. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has developed a method of examining these factors in relation to income by comparing these combined average expenses as a percent of household incomes. For this indicator, the average household contains four people, two of whom commute.
The LAI is not calculated annually, and the most recent data was published in 2012, and was based on Census data from 2008-2012. At that time, an average four person household with two commuters in the Pioneer Valley spent about 52% of the household's income on housing and transportation costs.
New data is expected to be released later in 2017.