Over 1.2 million households in North Carolina pay an excessive portion of their income for housing according to recent Census Bureau figures. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development considers households to be burdened if they spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing costs. Thirty-five percent of households in North Carolina and nearly 38 percent nationwide are burdened by housing costs.
The number of households burdened by housing costs provides a measure of the cost of living and a proxy for evaluating disposable income levels in a community. This is a problem that disproportionately affects North Carolina’s largest cities and the problem is getting worse. Thirty-one of the state’s largest 45 cities have housing cost burden rates that exceed the statewide average, and the vast majority of them saw increases in recent years. The percentage of households burdened by housing costs in North Carolina’s cities ranges from a low of 20.8 percent in Apex to 53 percent in Kinston.
Housing cost burden is one of ten indicators CURS is tracking to assess changing conditions in North Carolina’s largest cities through the State of North Carolina Cities Data Portal. For more information on the Data Portal and more information about housing cost burdens click here.