Why this is important
The number of cost-burdened households (being cost-burdened means household members contribute 30% or more of their gross monthly income to housing expenses, including rent or mortgage, taxes, utilities and association fees.) is an important measure of housing affordability. Households that are cost-burdened (especially those that are severely cost-burdened, paying 50% or more of gross monthly income for housing) can find themselves struggling to pay for other basic necessities such as food, clothing, transportation and health care. According to the Wilder Foundation, these families may drop health care coverage, select less expensive childcare arrangements, or skip meals to save on costs, which may result in poorer outcomes in other areas of well-being.
What the data show
In 2013, Dakota and Ramsey Counties had the lowest level of cost-burdened households without a mortgage in the metropolitan area (11% and 12%, respectively). The percentages of cost-burdened households with and without a mortgage have declined slightly between 2012 and 2013.
Renters are more likely to be considered cost-burdened for housing than those who own their own home. In 2013, Dakota (45%) and Carver (42%) Counties had the lowest rates of renters who pay more than 30% of their gross income on housing and related costs compared to other counties in the Twin Cities metro area. Still, almost half of renter households in Dakota County are considered cost-burdened for housing.