A staggering 61 percent, even those with higher incomes say they are having a tough time paying those monthly bills.
"Everything was going good and I lost my job four months ago it's hard to feed my family," said Tony.
He feels such shame he told Eyewitness News reporter Josh Einiger in a public park, so his wife and three kids wouldn't find out they're one payment away from foreclosure.
"Sometimes you feel so sad you don't want to show that to your kids you know? You just want to go and drive around," he said.
And according to the Long Island index, an annual survey report from researchers at Stonybrook, Tony has plenty of company.
The 61 percent increase is up from 50 percent a year earlier. And almost double the number from 2003.
John Sarcone runs the Nassau County office of Housing and Community Development where experts in the home ownership center offer free advice to help people work with their banks.
"We give them information. Basic tools on how to go about modifying their mortgage," said Sarcone.
He says they are seeing some success, but many residents are simply throwing in the towel.
The survey says 78 percent of long islanders think the high cost of housing will force a family member to leave.
And among those 18-34 years old, 67 percent vow they will flee the island in the next five years.
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