Forty two percent of Long Islanders are considered ‘burdened households’ by the Census Bureau.
This means that these households spend more than 30 percent of their income on household costs. The Census lumps both renters and mortgage owners together for this data, but they factor in different costs accordingly as well.
That means, on average, two out of every five Long Island households is considered burdened — a rough estimate of 371,000 households across two counties that are burdened.
Some of readers may say: I spend more than 30 percent, and I don’t feel burdened.
The Census explains their reasoning for adopting this standard in this 2006 publication.
Many households whose housing costs exceed 30 percent of their incomes are choosing then to devote larger shares of their incomes to larger, more amenity-laden homes… For them, the 30 percent ratio is not an indicator of a true housing affordability problem but rather a lifestyle choice. But for those households at the bottom rungs of the income ladder, the use of housing costs in excess of 30 percent of their limited incomes as an indicator of a housing affordability problem is as relevant today as it was four decades ago.
Which makes sense – burden scales differently across wealth. And once we have a standard, tracked over time, we can gauge how well our community is growing. How does Long Island compare? Check next.newsday.com for tomorrow’s daily data dive for some interesting comparisons.