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Housing Affordability

A row of blue and green houses with brightly painted doors on a residential street with sidewalks, trees, and crosswalks.

The housing affordability measure illustrates the relationship between income and housing costs. A household that spends 30% or more of its collective monthly income to cover housing costs is considered to be “housing cost-burden[ed].”[1] Those spending between 30% and 49.9% of their monthly income are categorized as “moderately housing cost-burden[ed],” while those spending more than 50% are categorized as “severely housing cost-burden[ed].”[2]

How much a household spends on housing costs affects the household’s overall financial situation. More money spent on housing leaves less in the household budget for other needs, such as food, clothing, transportation, and medical care, as well as for incidental purchases and saving for the future.

The estimated housing costs as a percentage of household income are categorized by tenure: all households, those that own their housing unit, and those that rent their housing unit.

Throughout the period of analysis, the percentage of housing cost-burdened renter households in Champaign County was higher than the percentage of housing cost-burdened homeowner households in Champaign County. All three categories saw year-to-year fluctuations between 2005 and 2017, and none of the three show a consistent trend. However, all three categories were estimated to have a lower percentage of housing cost-burdened households in 2017 than in 2005.

Data on estimated housing costs as a percentage of monthly income was sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, which are released annually.

As with any datasets that are estimates rather than exact counts, it is important to take into account the margins of error (listed in the column beside each figure) when drawing conclusions from the data.

[1] Schwarz, M. and E. Watson. (2008). Who can afford to live in a home?: A look at data from the 2006 American Community Survey. U.S. Census Bureau.

[2] Ibid.

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey, 2017 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, Table B25106; generated by CCRPC staff; using American FactFinder; (13 September 2018).; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey, 2016 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, Table B25106; generated by CCRPC staff; using American FactFinder; (14 September 2017).; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey, 2015 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, Table B25106; generated by CCRPC staff; using American FactFinder; (19 September 2016).; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey, 2014 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, Table B25106; generated by CCRPC staff; using American FactFinder; (16 March 2016).; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey, 2013 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, Table B25106; generated by CCRPC staff; using American FactFinder; (16 March 2016).; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey, 2012 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, Table B25106; generated by CCRPC staff; using American FactFinder; (16 March 2016).; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, Table B25106; generated by CCRPC staff; using American FactFinder; (16 March 2016).; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey, 2010 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, Table B25106; generated by CCRPC staff; using American FactFinder; (16 March 2016).; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey, 2009 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, Table B25106; generated by CCRPC staff; using American FactFinder; (16 March 2016).; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey, 2008 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, Table B25106; generated by CCRPC staff; using American FactFinder; 16 March 2016).; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey, 2007 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, Table B25106; generated by CCRPC staff; using American FactFinder; (16 March 2016).; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey, 2006 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, Table B25106; generated by CCRPC staff; using American FactFinder; (16 March 2016).; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey, 2005 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, Table B25106; generated by CCRPC staff; using American FactFinder; (16 March 2016).