The National Housing Conference’s Paycheck to Paycheck report and online database describe the challenges many workers face in finding affordable housing in metropolitan areas across the country. Many low- and moderate-income workers cannot afford to rent or buy the typical home in the area in which they work. As a result, they often spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing. But it’s not just housing that forces workers to stretch their paychecks. The costs of other household necessities—including transportation, child care, health care, and education—have been rising faster than the wages of many workers. The burden of unaffordable housing is intensified by the stresses of budgeting for other necessities. This supplement to the 2015 edition of Paycheck to Paycheck looks more closely at the vary factors that contribute to cost burden.
Lisa Sturtevant, Ph.D. is NHC’s Vice President for Research and Director of the Center for Housing Policy. Her primary areas of research include the relationship between housing and economic development, residential mobility and demographics.