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Report: Housing Grows More and More Burdensome

Working households, defined as households with at least 20 hours/week of employment and no more than 120% of an area's median household income, are not having the best success in the housing market. The Center for Housing Policy's Housing Landscape 2012 report only deals with data from 2008-10, but clearly shows the gulf forming between working household income and housing costs. Nationally, 23.6% of these households had a severe housing cost burden in 2010 (spending >50% of income on housing), up from 21.8% in 2008. In Chicago, that number was 27%. While that's well below Miami-Fort Lauderdale (43%) and several other high-priced markets, it still ain't good. Making matters worse, more and more households that couldn't even qualify as "working" for the purposes of the study due to underemployment. The directional arrows for renters in both costs and income are quickly propelling them toward trouble. Nationally, rents increased 4% over the two-year period while renter's income fell by the same percentage. For owners, both cost and income declined. [Housing Landscape 2012 via Rooflines]