This online tool can tell you whether you and your neighbours are 'rent-burdened'

Over recent years, rents in most parts of the US have soared — forcing many Americans to spend an outsize portion of their paychecks on rent.

Over the 2000-2010 period, the percentage of American families who spend over 35% of their income on rent has jumped from 33% to 44%, according to analysis of data from the Neighbourhood Change Database. The Urban Institute defines anybody who’s spending more than 35% of their income on rent as “rent-burdened.”

Rent-burden has a very direct impact on renters as it affects their ability to save for the future. This calculator from the Urban Institute shows whether you’re rent-burdened and reveals the percentage of people in your neighbourhood who pay more rent than they can really afford.

In parts of the trendy neighbourhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the percentage of residents who are rent-burdened is very high. On Lee avenue for example, 72% of people spend more than 35% of their income on rent.

But other parts of the US are worse off. In some parts of Von Ormy, near San Antonio in Texas, 85% of the population are rent-burdened.

On the other hand, some cities in Missouri, like Lee’s Summit, have a 0% rate of rent-burdened citizens.

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