The number of America's working families paying more than 50% of their income for housing has grown to 76% in just over half a decade, according to a new study conducted by the Center for Housing Policy and funded by Freddie Mac.The study, titled "The Housing Landscape for America's Working Families 2005," found that in 1997 up to 2.4 million working families spent more than half their income on housing, but that by 2003 this number had almost doubled to 4.2 million. It also found that immigrant working families are 75% more likely to pay more than half their income for housing than their native-born counterparts. (Findings are based on 1997-2003 data about working families, which are defined as low- to moderate-income families that work the equivalent of a full-time job and earn anywhere from the minimum wage of $10,700 to 120% of the median income in their area.) CHP research director Barbara Lipman said the study shows that the housing problems of working families are "more persistent and pervasive than many experts may have thought, and are not only confined to cities, renters, or the East and West coasts."

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