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

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The study looks at how much money full-time workers need to earn to afford housing without spending more than 30 percent of their income - known as a housing wage. Ohio's "housing wage" - the hourly wage a renter needs to earn to pay for a basic, two-bedroom unit - increased again this year to $15.25, with our minimum wage now sitting at $8.30. A worker would need to have 1.6 full-time jobs at minimum wage to afford housing. All of those counties are located in five states where the minimum wage is higher than the federal. Only registered nurses ($30.59) and customer-service representatives ($15.34) offer a housing wage, and customer-service representatives barely make the cut.

If you live in San Carlos or Redwood City, California-near San Francisco, but not the most expensive part of the Bay Area-and have a minimum-wage job in retail or at a coffee shop, you won't make enough to afford a typical studio apartment.

The number of renters has increased by almost 10 million since 2005, but most new rental construction over the past ten years has been geared toward the high end of the rental market. It's an annual report to document the gap between wages and the cost of rental housing across the United States. The report found that a Vermonter on Supplemental Social Security Income, for example, could only afford to pay $241 toward rent a month.


The nation's costliest housing is in Hawaii, where one would need to earn $36.13, or roughly $75,000 a year, to be able to rent a modest two-bedroom.

The same day the Federal Reserve raised interest rates-signaling confidence in a growing economy-and on the heels of a seemingly positive May jobs report, a new study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) suggests that the economy isn't as healthy as some might believe.

San Francisco tops the list for the cities with the most expensive housing wage.


On average, workers still need to earn $17.90 an hour to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment. The NLICH calculated that a one-bedroom apartment would take 99 hours a week, 52 weeks a year.

Out of the top 10 jobs with the highest projected growth-including medical assistants and home health aides-the median wages for seven of the jobs fall below the threshold needed to afford a one or two-bedroom. The number of homes renting for $2,000 or more per month almost doubled between 2005 and 2015. Bernie Sanders of Vermont wrote in the report's preface. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson recently proposed tripling rent for the poorest households and making it easier for housing authorities to impose work requirements on those receiving rent subsidies. Even now, only one in four households eligible for federal rent assistance gets it.


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