Tough Times Mean High Housing Burden

Declining incomes resulted in more people spending 30 percent or more of their pre-tax income on housing, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.

More than 40 million people in 2008 were above the 30 percent level, which is what the government considers affordable. That was about 600,000 more than paid that percentage in 2007, analysts concluded.

The calculations looked at the housing costs for both buyers and renters.

“Although housing affordability for newly purchased homes has improved, overall affordability for renters or owners is unchanged or worse because of the economy,” says Daniel McCue, research analyst at the center. “People are still hurting.”

Source: USA Today, Stephanie Armour and Barbara Hansen

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