Census data on housing costs and income reveals that the share of working households paying more than half their income for housing rose substantially for both renters and owners from 2008 to 2010. A Center for Housing Policy report entitled Housing Landscape 2012 concluded that nearly one in four working households in the U.S. spends more than half of total income on housing.
A drop in income levels and increase in rents between 2008 and 2010 elevated this issue, while rents have risen due to increased demand. California was found to be the state with the highest proportion of working households with a severe cost burden (34% in 2010). In fact, three of the top five most burdened metropolitan areas of the country were in California: Long Beach – Santa Ana, with 38% of working households experiencing severe housing cost burden, San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos with 37% of households in distress and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario with 35%.
Does your housing equate to half your income? If so, you represent 25% of Americans currently in the same boat. Historically, paying over 30 % of household income in housing costs was a red flag for a housing crisis.