The data for monthly housing costs are developed from a distribution of "Selected Monthly Owner Costs" for owner-occupied units and "Gross Rent" for renter-occupied units. The owner-occupied categories are further separated into those with a mortgage and those without a mortgage. See the sections on "Selected Monthly Owner Costs" and "Gross Rent" for more details on what characteristics are included in each measure and how these data are comparable to previous ACS and Census 2000 data.
Monthly housing costs provide information on the cost of monthly housing expenses for owners and renters. When the data is used in conjunction with income data, the information offers an excellent measure of housing affordability and excessive shelter costs. The data also serve to aid in the development of housing programs to meet the needs of people at different economic levels.
Median Monthly Housing Costs
This measure divides the monthly housing costs distribution into two equal parts: one-half of the cases falling below the median monthly housing costs and one-half above the median. Medians are shown separately for units "with a mortgage" and for units "not mortgaged." Median monthly housing costs are computed on the basis of a standard distribution. (See the "Standard Distributions" section under Appendix A.) Median monthly housing costs are rounded to the nearest whole dollar.