Average worker can't afford 2-bedroom apartment anywhere in USA, report says

14 Juin, 2018, 17:23 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • A map included in the report shows the rent necessary in each state to afford a two-bedroom home

The report goes in depth, looking at how much a minimum wage worker must work to afford housing in each state. The number of homes renting for less than $800 declined by 2 percent. Colorado's minimum wage is $10.20.

The annual Out of Reach report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition analyzed every county in the USA and found that there isn't anywhere that someone working a minimum wage job, 40 hours a week, can afford a two-bedroom. The national housing wage is $22.10 for a two-bedroom and $17.90 for a one-bedroom rental. The eight failing common means of employment like food preparation ($9.40), retail salesperson ($10.41), cashiers ($9.33), laborers and freight movers ($12.66), waiters ($9.45), office clerks ($14.42), janitors ($11.59) and stock clerks ($11.65) fall below what is necessary for someone to afford a modest two bedroom apartment.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition, an advocacy group, published a new report Wednesday highlighting the disparities between incomes and rents nationwide. "The rents are far out of reach from what the average renter is earning".

The Trump administration has proposed spending cuts for fiscal year 2019 that could lead to more than 200,000 families losing federal rental assistance, the National Low Income Housing Coalition has calculated. In the Seattle-Bellevue metro area and King County, the numbers are higher: $26 an hour for a studio, $29 for a one-bedroom, $36 for a two-bedroom, and $52 for a three-bedroom. In Seattle, the minimum wage now ranges from $11.50 to $15 an hour depending on the size of the employer and benefits offered.

You can afford a typical 2-bedroom apartment if you make just under $33 an hour.

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Local reports have also pointed to the acute shortage of housing for very low-income renters in Charlotte.

In Massachusetts, renters would need to make $23.15 an hour to afford a one-bedroom, the report said. Compared to other states, Washington ranks as the eighth most expensive state for a two-bedroom apartment.

In Contra Costa County, where the hourly pay needed for a 2-bedroom apartment ranges from $38 in Richmond, Martinez, and Antioch, all the way up to $67 in Danville. Bernie Sanders of Vermont wrote in the report's preface. At the same time, new rental construction has tilted toward the luxury market because of increasingly high development costs, the report said. "In America today, almost 11 million families pay more than half of their limited incomes toward rent and utilities".

Meanwhile, the housing market is failing to meet the needs of the lowest income renters. When rents reach a level that the majority of extremely low income renters could afford, landlords in strong housing markets have an economic incentive to redevelop their units for higher rents. It's hard to praise Cleveland for its affordability when there are an average of 12 evictions every single day and an enormous waiting list for housing vouchers through CMHA.

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