Housing-Thirty-Eight Percent

WASHINGTON (AP) -- When it comes to homeownership, Hispanics in New Jersey, single parents in California and senior citizens in Rhode Island all have something in common: More than a third have an unaffordable mortgage.

An Associated Press analysis of 2007 census data finds patterns of inequality have been magnified by the real estate boom, and now the bust.

Nearly 9.5 million households, or nearly one out of every five of the nearly 52 million homeowners with a mortgage, spend 38 percent or more of their pretax income on their mortgage payment, property taxes and insurance. That's the new threshold to qualify for the loan assistance program launched last month by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Not surprisingly, the most financially burdened homeowners are in California, Florida, Nevada and the Northeast, areas hardest hit by soaring home prices and now foreclosures.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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