From County Health Rankings & Roadmaps

Housing is central to people’s opportunities for living long and well. Nationwide, housing costs far exceed affordability given local incomes in many communities. As a result, people have no choice but to spend too much on housing, leaving little left for other necessities. Here, we focus on stable and affordable housing as an essential element of healthy communities. We also explore the connection between housing and children in poverty to illuminate the fact that these issues are made even more difficult when family budgets are the tightest.


There is a strong and growing evidence base linking stable and affordable housing to health. As housing costs have outpaced local incomes, households not only struggle to acquire and maintain adequate shelter, but also face difficult trade‐offs in meeting other basic needs.

  • In Texas, 13% of households spend more than half of their income on housing costs.
  • Across Texas counties, severe housing cost burden ranges from 2% to 24% of households.
  • Severe housing cost burden ranges from 10% to 20% among households headed by different racial/ethnic groups in Texas.