Housing Affordability

Desired Trend


Current Trend

Baseline (2006-2010): 65.4%
Current (2013-2017): 65.5%

Theme Inclusive


Percent of low-income households paying 30 percent or more of income on housing

Why is it Important?

Shelter is a fundamental human need, and is also one of the most expensive household budget items. Meeting this most basic need of affordable housing is essential in order for residents to contribute to the economic, social, and environmental health of the region. Households are considered “cost-burdened” when their total rental or ownership costs are 30 percent or more of the household’s income. 

How are we Doing?

In the St. Louis region, 65.5 percent of low-income households were cost-burdened in 2013-2017, paying at least 30 percent of their income on housing. This is nearly the same percentage reported for the baseline year (2006-2010). Among the 50 most populous regions in the country (the peer regions), the percentage of low-income households that are cost-burdened in St. Louis is relatively low. In 2013-2017, St. Louis ranked 40th among the peer regions on this measure. However, disparity between low-income black households and low-income white households in St. Louis is high relative to the peer regions. Low-income black households are about 20 percent more likely to be cost-burdened than low-income white households. In 2013-2017, 73.9 percent of low-income black households were cost-burdened compared with 61.5 percent of low-income white households. This disparity ranked the region 7th among the peer regions in 2017. 

Housing Affordability Disparity in Housing Affordability

Geographic Level

St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). View map.


1This indicator is a HUD Flagship Sustainability Indicator. The Flagship Indicators were created for the Sustainable Community Initiative in an effort to develop a common national framework for measuring long-term progress toward sustainable communities.

Data Sources

Integrated Public Use Microdata Series, U.S. Census, American Community Survey