What does it mean to be Housing Cost Burdened?

Posted On: January 8, 2020

Numbers courtesy of NLIHC.org

The graph above shows the percentages of renters in the state of Alabama who are cost-burdened and severely cost-burdened among four different income groups.

As you can see, for Extremely Low Income and Very Low-Income renters, more than 60% of each group is cost-burdened. That means they are spending more than 30% of their income on housing costs and utilities. And nearly 20% of Very Low Income and 65% of Extremely Low-Income renters are spending more than half of their income on housing costs and utilities.

Some might think, “Well if someone has housing at all, isn’t that a good thing?” Yes, but while decreasing homelessness and making sure people have housing are important goals in the US, decreasing the number of cost-burdened households should also be an important goal.

The real problem with cost-burdened households is that while having so much stress on income, those households are more likely to compromise on paying for other necessities to their wellbeing like healthcare and healthy food. This is where different social issues can tend to intersect and feed into each other.

Check out this statistic and many more housing statistics at NLIHC.org.


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