3.08 Rental Housing Affordability

This page includes data that provide multiple perspectives on rental housing units and their affordability to renters. The first data set, from the U.S. Census Bureau, includes the percentage of renters who are cost-burdened and median gross rent. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), housing is affordable if households spend no more than 30% of their income on housing. Households spending more than 30% are considered by HUD to be cost-burdened. The second data set is from HUD and includes the number of low-income households per affordable rental unit, or the demand/supply ratio and the percentage of rental units considered affordable to low-income households. HUD defines a low-income household as one with income less than or equal to 80% of area median income (AMI).


U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Comprehensive Housing Affordability Strategy (CHAS) data


Gross rent includes contract rent and the cost of utilities. Households with zero or negative income are also considered “cost burdened.”  Rental units reflect only renter-occupied housing units.  As of December 2019, CHAS data for all years has been changed from prior publications in order to ensure data consistency across time.  CHAS data are based on five-year estimates.