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Low-Income Homeowners and Renters are Similarly Burdened by Housing Costs

Data reveals that homeownership does not protect low-income homeowners from experiencing severe housing cost burdens. Homeowners are less likely to be low-income than renters. But with equally low incomes, renters and homeowners suffer from similar severe housing cost burdens. Extremely low-income and very-low income homeowners are just as vulnerable to severe cost burdens as renters at the same income level. And while the cost burden looks similar for renters and homeowners at these income levels, the household composition does not. Severely burdened homeowners tend to be elderly, while severely burdened renters tend to have young families.

While renters experience the bulk of severe housing cost burdens, the data from How Housing Matters shows us that low-income homeowners, a predominantly elderly group, share some of these struggles. Since the households of very low-income renters and homeowners differ, policy solutions to address their challenges must as well.