More Americans spending at least half their pay on housing

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A new analysis of Census data suggests that amid the economic recovery, a potential rent crisis is building.

Enterprise Community Partners, a nonprofit that helps finance affordable housing, says that for more than one in four renters, rent and utilities consume at least half their family income. The number of such households has jumped 26 percent since 2007. The government defines housing costs in excess of 30 percent of income as burdensome.

Angela Boyd, a vice president at Enterprise Community Partners, says sometimes that means choosing between groceries and the rent.

Barely rising pay and lagging construction have contributed to the problem.

Other than Alaska, South Dakota and Wyoming, at least 20 percent of renters in every state devote at least half their incomes to housing and utilities. The figure is 30 percent in California, Florida, New Jersey and New York.

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