Many households have experienced steep falls in their disposable income during the current coronavirus pandemic, due to e.g. unemployment, furlough, reduced working time or less clients or turnover.
Housing costs are generally fixed in the short term, and will inevitably leave less for other costs when the household’s income falls.
The housing cost overburden rate for the EU was 9.6% in 2018
However, there were large differences between the different EU Member States. In 11 Member States, less than 6.0% of the population lived in households being overburdened by housing costs.
It was particularly rare to experience such problems in Malta (only 1.7% of the population) and Cyprus (2.0%).
In contrast, the housing cost overburden rate stood at 10% or more in Romania, Germany, Denmark and Bulgaria.
The overburdening was most widespread in Greece, where 39.5% of the population lived in households spending more than 40% of the disposable income on housing.
These differences may, at least partially, reflect differences in national policies for social housing or public subsidies and benefits provided for housing.