Magazine article Mortgage Banking

Working Families Paying More for Housing, Transportation

Magazine article Mortgage Banking

Working Families Paying More for Housing, Transportation

Article excerpt

AS MUCH AS TWO-THIRDS OF A HOUSEHOLD'S budget is consumed by housing and transportation, even as the cost of housing continues to rise faster than wages are growing, concluded a pair of studies by the Center for Housing Policy, the research affiliate of the Washington, D.C.-based National Housing Conference (NHC). The studies were sponsored by Freddie Mac.

One study, The Housing Landscape for America's Working Families-2005, noted the number of working families that spent more than half of their income on housing grew dramatically--to 4.2 million in 2003 from 2.4 million in 1997.

Working families are defined as low- to moderate-income families that work the equivalent of a full-time job and earn from the minimum wage of $10,700 and up to 120 percent of the area median income. Housing is considered affordable if it makes up 30 percent or less of a family's total expenditures.

One in eight, or 14.1 million, of all families in the United States had a critical housing need in 2003, meaning they paid more than half of their income for housing and/or lived in physically dilapidated conditions, according to the report. …

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