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Housing Landscape for America's Working Families: 2007

August 1, 2007

Working a full-time job does not guarantee a family a decent, affordable place to live-a problem the Center for Housing Policy has been tracking for the past eight years. Using the most recent American Housing Survey (2005), this report updates national trends in the number of working families paying more than half of their income for housing and/or living in dilapidated conditions. A new feature in this edition is a close-up look at 31 metropolitan areas and changes in their critical housing needs from the mid 1990s to the early 2000s.

A Heavy Load: The Combined Housing and Transportation Burdens of Working Families

October 1, 2006

Among other innovations, this study presents, for the first time, the combined housing and transportation cost burdens of working families in 28 metropolitan areas at the neighborhood level. It also provides an overview of where working families live in each of the 28 areas and how their location decisions affect their commute times and costs. The study provides a particularly detailed look at 10 metropolitan areas-Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas-Ft.Worth, Denver, Greater Los Angeles, New York City, Pittsburgh, Portland, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington D.C.-Baltimore. Detailed information on these and the other 18 metropolitan areas studied is available at:

Locked Out: Keys to Homeownership Elude Many Working Families with Children

March 1, 2006

According to the latest Census statistics, nearly 70 percent of Americans now own their homes-the highest homeownership rate on record. However, a closer look at the numbers over the last 25 years suggests that homeownership rates among Working Families with Children were actually lower in 2003 than they were in 1978 and that the share of America's children living in owner-occupied units has also declined. This report looks at the trends in home ownership for working families with children and suggests policies to increase the supply of affordable housing.

Something's Gotta Give: Working Families and the Cost of Housing

April 1, 2005

For more than five years, the Center for Housing Policy has tracked the growing number of working families in America paying at least half of their income for housing. These families defy stereotypes. Over half are homeowners. Suburbanites outnumber city residents. They include teachers, police officers, and firefighters, as well as service workers. And while housing affordability problems are greatest in the Northeast and the West, they are growing fastest in the South and Midwest. What's more, we may be underestimating the extent of the problem. Housing is usually the largest and least flexible item in the family budget. How do working families that pay an excessive portion of their expenditures on housing cope? Do they cut back on food,healthcare, and other necessities? Run up a mountain of debt? Spend long hours commuting to work? And what does this all mean for the quality of life of these families, especially their children?