Financial experts recommend spending no more than 30 percent of your take-home pay on your housing costs for either a mortgage or rent, but in cities with high housing costs, plenty of people spend far more for a place to live.
Although you might assume that people in low-income neighborhoods suffer the most from high-cost housing or think it’s harder for people living in the most expensive neighborhoods, the reality is that spending on rent is hardest for those in middle-class neighborhoods like Park View and Mount Pleasant.
RadPad, an apartment-search and rent-payment site, checked thousands of one-bedroom listings in Zip codes in the District and checked on the median household income in each Zip code to calculate the amount of monthly take-home pay residents spent on rent.
Some data from their study:
• In the 20010 Zip code that covers Park View, Columbia Heights and Mount Pleasant, renters are paying an average of 62 percent of their take-home pay on rent.
• However, the biggest cluster of neighborhoods where renters are paying a lot for their housing is in Southeast, especially in 20032, a Zip code that includes Congress Heights and Washington Highlands. That Zip code has the lowest median household income, at $34,000, and tenants there pay an average of 53 percent of their take-home pay on rent.
• The neighborhoods where income is highest in the city — including Friendship Heights, Chevy Chase and Penn Quarter — are also the areas paying the least amount of their take-home income on rent. The average in those areas is 20 percent, well below the maximum recommending amount to spend on housing.
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