Affordable housing is a hot topic in Philadelphia this summer. In June, City Council finally passed a plan to tax construction projects to fund affordable housing, but Mayor Kenney has yet to move on the legislation. Meanwhile, the city's poverty rate sits near 26 percent.

RENTCafé and PropertyShark recently analyzed likely discretionary income for homeowners in 50 cities across the country, contrasting median living costs (mortgage, utilities, food, leisure, health care, and transportation) with median incomes in each. The news was not good for homeowners in Philadelphia, and it was even worse for renters. Unless they cut expenses, Philadelphia homeowners risk accumulating an average $719 in debt each month, the study's authors found. Renters who don't cut expenses or have a roommate fall $1,303 short each month.

Nationally, in 44 out of the 50 cities highlighted in the study, homeowners could save money each month. In the six other cities, the disparity between costs and incomes for homeowners was large enough to result in negative figures. Philadelphia joins New Orleans (-$67), Memphis (-$146), Cleveland (-$842), Detroit (-$905) and Miami (-$1,219) on that deficit list.

For renters, saving was possible in just a handful of cities, researchers found. Virginia Beach was ranked the most affordable city for renters (tabulations put $883 in discretionary monthly income in renters' pockets there).  Demonstrating the extent to which salary inflation has propped up New York, homeowners in Manhattan are estimated to have about $4,692 in monthly discretionary cash.