High housing cost burden by owner/renter households and county in Maine

Change Indicator

Why This Indicator Matters

High housing costs make it difficult for households to meet their other essential expenses such as for food and healthcare and transportation. "The Rent Eats First" by Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. Nationally, rents are rising and homes for sale are rising even more quickly. It is increasing difficult for young families to bear the burdens of both high rents and high costs to enter the home ownership market. Up until the beginning of 2022, low mortgage rates made home ownership more affordable, but now mortage interest rates have risen.

In Maine, for 2016-2020, 26.1% of owners and 45.7% of renters paid more than 30% of their income for rent. This is slightly lower than 32.5% of owners and 51.9% of renters for the non-overlapping period of 2011-2015. For the most recent period, the rural counties of Piscataquis, Washington and Oxford had the highest percentage of households paying over 30% of their income towards rent, at 38.8%, 36.6% and 35.7% respectively. The counties with the lowest housing burden, all between 30.5% and 31.3% were Franklin, Hancock and Kennebec Counties.
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High housing cost burden by owner/renter households and county

Data Provided By

Definitions: High housing cost burden by owner/ renter households is the percent of households paying more than 30 percent of monthly household pretax income on housing. The numerator is the number of households who are paying more than 30% of their income and the denominator is all households for whom the percent of income spent on housing could be determined according to the US Census American Community Survey, Table DP04, 5-year estimates. The year 2020 represents data for 2016-2020. All households not just households with children under age 18 are included.

Data Source: US Census American Community Survey 5-year estimates, Table DP04.

Footnotes: 2020 represents data for the years 2016-2020 and 2015 is a non-overlapping interval of the years 2011-2015.

New indicator April 2022.