• About the Project
7.2.4 Housing Cost Burden
Why is this important?

According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, residents should not pay more than 30% of their income towards housing. High housing costs can create financial distress for households.  A lack of disposable income limits our choices in terms of food, transportation, recreation, and educational enrichment. 

How are we doing?

As of 2010, 36% of home owners and 48% of renters in Boston spent more than 30% of gross income on housing costs.  The housing cost burden is greatest for those with the lowest household incomes: 95% of owners and 74% of renters with incomes less than $20,000 spent more than one-third of income on housing.  By comparison, among Boston households earning more than $75,000 16% of owners and 8% of renters were cost-burdened by housing.

Cost burden varies by neighborhood with the greatest concentration of rental cost burdened households in the Fenway/Kenmore area and parts of Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, Dorchester and Hyde Park where more than 70% of renters were cost burdened in 2010.  Because Boston has a substantial inventory of affordable and subsidized housing, there are low rates of cost-burdened households in areas with the lowest household incomes.

Enlarge Percent of Renters Spending More Than 30% of Income on Housing