The city’s housing shortage becomes much clearer when taken in the context of housing construction trends over the past 74 years. In the 1980s and 1990s, the number of new housing units in the city dropped considerably, from 27,405 in the 1970s to just under 20,000 in the ’80s and only 16,272 during all of the ’90s, according to a report from Paragon Real Estate Group.
Compare that to more than 35,000 in the 1950s and nearly 40,000 in the 1940s. The numbers did jump to 25,540 in the first decade of the new century, but housing has not caught up with previous highs.
Meanwhile, the city’s population fell from 775,400 in 1950 to a low of 679,000 in 1980 before beginning its steep climb to an estimated 850,000 today.