Calculate your rent burden

How much you spend on housing can determine whether you can get help with your rent.

What to do

1. Calculate your monthly housing costs

Add up how much you spend on the following:

  • Rent
  • Utilities, like water, power and trash
  • Renter’s insurance

2. Calculate the percentage of household income you spend on housing costs

For example, if you have monthly housing costs of $800 and monthly income of $2000, your rent burden is 40%.

Levels of rent burden

A rent burden up to 30% is healthy. This allows households to pay for other expenses and save for the future.

In areas with high housing costs like San Francisco, rent burdens over 40% are not uncommon.


A rent burden over 50% is considered severe. If your rent burden is severe, you may be eligible to get help paying your rent.

Get help

Ask a housing counselor

Last updated March 29, 2024