In many of America’s towns and cities, housing costs are putting a huge burden on residents.
Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies has a huge report out on the state of the housing market. One of the big things they looked at was housing affordability. Using data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the Harvard researchers were able to find how many people in each metropolitan or micropolitan area in the country faced a significant housing cost burden, defined by the researchers as paying at least 30% of their income on housing costs.
The study includes a really cool set of interactive maps, where for each metro area you can find info on the area’s housing situation.
One thing that jumps out from the maps is that renters across the country are more likely to financial stress from their housing costs than homeowners. Here’s Harvard’s map showing the percentage of owner occupied households paying at least 30% of income on housing costs:
And here’s the same map for renter occupied households:
While there are definitely some hotspots for homeowners facing a cost burden, it’s clear from looking at these maps that in a large number of America’s cities and towns, over half of renters have to spend more than 30% of their incomes on housing costs.