"Housing, a cost that nearly every American family has to bear, has become prohibitively expensive for much of the population. In 1990 and 2000, about 33 percent of American renters were cost burdened—defined here as paying more than 35 percent of their income on rent.1 By 2010, that share jumped to 44 percent nationwide and was even higher in some places. New analysis of data from the Neighborhood Change Database (NCDB) shows how widespread rent-cost burdens have become, increasing in poorer neighborhoods and high-cost metros alike. Though homeowners build equity when housing prices rise, renters face a much different reality: housing-price inflation directly affects renters’ ability to spend or save for the future. And unlike homeowners, renters see no return on their dollar."