Family Finances

Strong Foundations: Financial Security Starts with Affordable, Stable Housing

January 14, 2020  • Financial Security Program & EPIC

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Key Points

  • Everyone benefits when families have affordable, stable housing
  • One in three American households -- nearly 100 million people -- are cost-burdened
  • 1 in 4 renters spends more than half their income on housing

One in three US households—nearly 100 million people—struggle with housing costs that jeopardize their financial security. The problem is acute for virtually all low-income families and for the 1 in 4 renters who spend 50% or more of their income on housing—and its effects ripple throughout our communities and economy.

In 2019, Aspen EPIC recognized rising housing costs and instability as critical threats to the financial security of American families and created a comprehensive research primer on the topic. Drawing on extensive review of the research literature, engagement with more than 100 experts, and analysis of federal survey data, we have prepared a research brief and primer, “Strong Foundations: Financial security starts with affordable, stable housing.”



Housing is the largest household expense for most Americans. EPIC is taking a hard look at housing affordability and stability to understand the meaning, scope, trends, impacts, manifestations, and drivers of these challenges. Affordability and stability (or lack thereof ) are inextricably related and can have compounding effects, so we are addressing them together as interrelated challenges.

Key Findings:

For more information on housing insecurity and its threat to financial security in America, download the full report and reach out to our staff. Click here to watch our public event on this topic.


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Today, more than 1 in 3 US households–nearly 100 million people–struggle with housing costs. #AspenEPIC recognized rising #housing costs and instability as critical threats to the #FinancialSecurity of American families. Find it here:

The harmful effects of #housing unaffordability & instability mean that some households suffer more, especially: low-income, renters, single women, single parents, LGBTQ & disabled populations. Learn more from #AspenEPIC’s new research primer

Nearly 1/3 of #rural renter families have incomes below the #poverty level & lack the financial resources to secure stable housing. Learn more about compromised populations from #AspenEPIC

Renters are more than 2x as likely to be cost-burdened. Download and share #AspenEPIC’s new #HousingAffordability report today.


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