Learn More: Rent Burden

Metadata

Variable Definition:
Rent-Burdened Population: The percentage of renters paying more than 30 percent of their monthly income on rent and utilities
Source:
American Community Survey, 5 year estimates, Table B25070
Years Available:
2006-2010, 2007-2011, 2008-2012, 2009-2013, 2010-2014, 2011-2015
Geographic Unit
Census Tract

Why is this Variable Important to Measure?

Rent-Burdened Population
Households that spend more than 30 percent of their incomes on rent and utilities (like electricity, water, gas, and sewage) are considered to be rent burdened. Rent-burdened households generally have lower incomes than non-rent burdened households and usually have less money to spend on other basic needs like food, clothing, transportation, and routine medical services. Households can become rent burdened due to low incomes, high rent prices, or a combination of both. On the neighborhood level, high rates of rent burden can lead to high resident turnover and a lack of community investment and cohesion.
Rent burden is a good measure of housing affordability and provides insight into the purchasing power of households given their geographic location.

Sources:
Meltzer, Rachel and Alex Schwartz. "Housing affordability and health: Evidence from New York City." Housing Policy Debate, vol. 26, no. 1, 2016, pp. 80-104. Link 
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