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?
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