Nearly half of all renter households in Massachusetts - 415,000 households - are "shelter poor." After paying for their housing, they do not have enough resources left to meet their non-shelter needs for food, clothing, medical care, transportation, etc., at even a minimal level of adequacy. The median income of these shelter poor renters in Massachusetts is only $14,000 a year. This is just 16 percent of the median family income for Metro Boston (AMI). Shelter poverty is a more realistic approach to assessing affordability than the conventional 30 percent of income standard because it takes into account the cost of non-shelter necessities and taxes in Massachusetts for households of various sizes and types.
Stone, Michael E., "Shelter Poverty in Massachusetts, 2000-2007: An Overview" (2009). Center for Social Policy Publications. 49.