Housing Burden

Housing Burden

What is housing burden?

Housing burdened low income households are households that are both low income and highly burdened by housings costs. California has very high housing costs relative to much of the country, which can make it hard for many to afford housing. Households with lower incomes may spend a larger proportion of their income on housing and may suffer from housing-induced poverty.


Why is this indicator included in CalEnviroScreen?

  • Housing affordability is an important determinant of health and well-being. Residents of low-income households with high housing costs may suffer adverse health impacts.

  • The fraction of low-income households paying more than 50 percent of their income on housing is on the rise.

  • The housing burden indicator takes into account the regional cost of living for both homeowners and renters and includes the cost of utilities.


How is housing burden measured in CalEnviroScreen?

  • Data from the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Comprehensive Housing Affordability Strategy (CHAS) is used for the indicator. CHAS data is a special analysis of US Census Bureau data.

  • The indicator is the percent of households in a census tract that are both low income (making less than 80% of their county's median family income) and severely burdened by housing costs (paying greater than 50% of their income for housing costs).

  • The data represent the years 2009-2013.

  • A complete description of the Housing Burdened Low Income Households indicator can be found in the CalEnviroScreen 3.0 report.


Where can I find more information about housing burden?

CalEnviroScreen 3.0 Housing Burden Map

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