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Where Americans Are Most Likely to Live With Housing Cost Burdens

New analysis reveals the geographic patterns of housing cost burdens in the United States.
April 5, 2019, 11am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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CityLab analyzed U.S. Census data from the National Historical Geographic Information System to identify the neighborhoods where Americans are facing housing cost burdens.

"More than 10 percent of U.S. households spend at least half their total income on housing costs—far more than the one-third that financial experts advise as a maximum limit. These severely housing-burdened households can be rich or poor, but around half of them are located in neighborhoods where at least one neighbor in three is facing a similar housing burden," writes David Montgomery.

The locations of high housing cost burdens can be difficult to spot on a map of the United States because they are geographically small urban areas. "That’s because of the pernicious nature of housing stress," writes Montgomery. "It’s not just about poverty, though poor households are absolutely more likely to spend a majority of their income on staying housed. Rather, housing burden is a function of both income and cost. The nexus of low incomes and high costs tends to happen when wealth is located near poverty—and that happens most often in America’s cities."

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Published on Thursday, April 4, 2019 in CityLab
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