Report: More than half of income for 13% of Wisconsin residents goes to rent, mortgage

MADISON — A county health report says about 13 percent of Wisconsin residents are paying more than half of their income on rent or a home mortgage.

Sheri Johnson is director of the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. Johnson told Wisconsin Public Radio that a person spending a large portion of their income on housing can affect whether they can afford medicine or transportation to a doctor.

The institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation rank the health of nearly every county in the U.S. by looking at factors such as poverty, education and transportation.

Johnson said people of color and low-income residents are particularly susceptible to what researchers call a severe housing cost burden.

She said it’s related to a lack of progress in wages being able to keep up with housing costs.

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