Community Dividend

More U.S. households face severe housing cost burdens, study finds

Published April 1, 2012  | April 2012 issue

Nearly 1 in 4 working households in the U.S. faces a severe housing cost burden, according to a recent report from the Center for Housing Policy. Housing Landscape 2012, which is based on a study of U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey data collected from 2008 to 2010, categorizes households as "severely housing cost burdened" if they spend more than 50 percent of their income on housing. The report indicates that the share of working households with severe housing cost burdens rose from a national average of 21.8 percent in 2008 to 23.6 percent in 2010—an increase attributed to a combination of falling incomes and rising rents. Among the states that lie wholly or partly in the Ninth Federal Reserve District, the share of households with severe housing cost burdens ranges from a high of 22 percent in Michigan to a low of 11 percent in North Dakota. To read the full report, visit