(NEXSTAR) — According to the latest report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, there isn’t a single state in the US where a minimum wage worker can afford an average two-bedroom apartment.
NLIHC of 2022 Out of reach According to the organization, the report, released last week, aims to highlight the disparity between earnings and rent for the average low-paid employee. This year, the report indicates that the average rental cost for a two-bedroom apartment in a US metropolitan county jumped 15% between the first quarters of 2021 and 2022 – or more than four times the growth seen over the past several years.
The problem is not limited to metro areas.
“No employee earning the federal or prevailing state or local minimum wage in any state, metropolitan area or county in the United States may purchase a modest two-bedroom rental home at fair market rent by working the standard 40-hour work week. ” Report states.
One-bedroom apartments, too, were determined to be unaffordable for low-wage workers in 9% of all US counties.
For the purposes of its report, the NLIHC defines “affordability” as the cost of more than 30% of a tenant’s income (rent and utilities) based on the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s definition of fair market rent. . In dollar amounts, this means the average American worker would need $25.82 per hour for a two-bedroom apartment, or $21.25 for a single-bedroom apartment, as determined by the NLIHC.
But this is just the national average; In some states the “housing wage” is high enough—that is, the estimated full-time wage a renter must earn by HUD standards to afford a modest rental property. For example, in Hawaii, the “housing pay” for a two-bedroom is $40.63 per hour, while California ($39.01 per hour), Massachusetts ($37.97), New York ($37.72) and Washington, DC ($34.33) had housing wages reported. According to not far behind.
Meanwhile, the median housing wage in the most “affordable” states was set in Arkansas ($14.89 an hour), where the basic minimum wage is $11, followed by West Virginia ($15.38), Mississippi ($15.67), South Dakota ($16.11) and Kentucky ($16.18). Puerto Rico was the only region with a low housing wage ($9.88).
The NLIHC report also indicated that black and Latino workers were most likely to be affected by pay/rent disparities, as “they are more likely to be renters at all income levels.”
“Rentals are rising rapidly, homelessness is deteriorating, and millions of families are struggling to stay home,” the NLIHC said, in an expansion of proven solutions such as Housing Choice Vouchers, the National Housing Trust Fund and public housing by federal The investment is badly needed and is long overdue,” the NLIHC said. President and CEO Diane Yantel Press release Released along with the 2022 Out of Reach Report. “As a country, we have the data, partnerships, expertise, solutions and means to end homelessness and housing poverty – we simply lack the political will to fund solutions on the scale we need.”
The National Low Income Housing Coalition, established in 1974, is a non-profit organization committed to advocating for federally assisted housing resources.
more information on 2022 out of reach report, State-specific data can be found at NLIHC.org.
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