Half of Tennesseans Spend More on Housing Than They Can Afford

Feb 26, 2014

Credit scorecard.assetsandopportunity.org

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  How much of your paycheck is going toward keeping a roof over your head?

New figures from the Center for Enterprise Development says more than half of Tennesseans are spending more than they can afford on housing and utilities.

The Center’s Kasey Wiedrich says nearly a third of Tennesseans are “housing cost  overburdened.”

"Tennessee is now in the bottom half in the nation. It's just over half, 51-percent of renters are spending more than 30-percent of their income on housing costs."

Wiedrich says the high cost of housing doesn't allow for families on the edge to save for emergencies and that's a major contributor to the liquid-asset poverty rate, which in Tennessee is 50-percent.

“We're looking at the rate of households that don't have enough liquid savings - cash in the bank, savings accounts, even retirement accounts that people could fairly easily tap into - so that they could make it for three months at the poverty level if their income went away."

The Center’s Assets and Opportunities Scorecard also shows that 1 Tennessean in ten does not have a bank account, while nearly 60 percent have a subprime credit rating.