Health Equity Zones

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Health equity zone initiative


Annette Bourne

Housing Cost Burden Data

High housing costs can have a negative impact on health. Cost-burdened households may be forced to choose between the cost of housing and other essentials, such as food, utilities, and healthcare. more


To assess Rhode Island's progress towards advancing health equity, as part of the Rhode Island Health Equity Measures.

Key Information

Measure Percentage of renters and owners who are housing cost burdened
Data Source 2013-2017 American Community Survey - Selected Housing Characteristics
Strata City/Town
What this measure means This measure uses housing data from the American Community Survey to calculate the total estimated percentage of cost burdened renters and owners in each municipality in Rhode Island. Housing cost burden is defined as spending more than 30% of annual household income on housing. For this measure, total housing cost burden was calculated by adding together the number of cost burdened housing units with a mortgage, without a mortgage, and paying rent, dividing by the total number of housing units with a mortgage, without a mortgage, and paying rent, and then multiplying by 100.

Key Findings, 2013-2017

  • Central Falls and Providence had the highest total housing cost burden, and in Central Falls more than half (55.92%) of all households were cost burdened.
  • At least 24% of renters and owners are cost burdened in every city and town in RI.
  • The core cities are 4 of the top 5 cities and towns with the greatest housing cost burden.