Housing Cost Overburden



The Housing Cost Overburden (HCO) rate is a measure of the percentage of the population living in households where the total cost of housing exceeds 40% of their disposable income. While narrow definitions of housing costs tend to focus exclusively on rent or loan repayments, HCO measures take a more expansive view on costs; including mortgage repayments or rent, plus the cost of utilities, expenses related to regular maintenance and expenditure on structural insurance. 

Costs relating to housing are the main items of expenditure for many European households. Alongside rent or mortgage payments, household expenses also include utilities such as water, electricity, gas or heating.  This measure provides an indicator for households struggling with all their housing costs. Cost-burdened households often find themselves without sufficient funds for other necessities such as food, transportation, child care, and clothing. 

This sub-section presents data on housing cost overburden within the Irish state. The chart below shows a time series displaying four primary household tenures (Owner with a mortgage or loan, owner with no mortgage or loan, tenant renting at market price, and tenant renting at reduced price or free) and data based off of three HCO rates - 25%, 40% and 50%.