How much rent can the average American afford?
The numbers are in and the hourly wages estimated to afford rent across America are shocking, to say the least.
Couple the staggering hourly wage with the federal minimum wage amount at $7.25 and one can see how difficult it can get for everyday workers to provide themselves one of human’s basic needs, shelter.
The online Yahoo Finance news outlet recently released the findings of the minimum hourly wage requirements. The article mentions how the National Low Income Housing Coalition came up with the figures in their report.
A new report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition shows what an hourly worker needs to make to afford a two-bedroom rental home — without paying more than 30% of their income — in each state, plus Washington, DC and Puerto Rico. Depending on the location, the hourly wages required for housing range from $9.68 (in Puerto Rico) to $35.20 (in Hawaii) for people working 40 hours per week, 52 weeks per year:
It’s hard to think that the average hourly wage ($21.21) for a two-bedroom rental in our country is “three times more than the federal minimum wage of $7.25. And the news doesn’t get any better from there.
Over 2 million US workers make at or below the federal minimum, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some states are worse than others. In Maryland, for example, the average two-bedroom costs $1,470 per month, according to HUD’s Fair Market Rents estimates. To sign a lease, a renter would need to earn $28.27 per hour, even though the state’s hourly minimum wage is stuck at $8.75.
Out of the 3,007 counties in the United States, there are literally only a dozen counties in which minimum-wage workers can even afford one-bedroom rentals. And there’s a clear reason why that’s so according to the report.
The report also looks at the availability of affordable housing in counties around the US. It reveals that nationwide, there are only 12 counties where minimum-wage workers can afford one-bedroom units. These counties are all in states with minimum wages above the federal standard: Washington, Arizona, and Oregon. In places with big urban housing markets, like California and DC, there are even larger deficits of affordable housing.
To add more burden in the belly of everyday Americans is what might just be another hard fact to swallow when it comes to the seemingly cruel initiatives being pushed on Capitol Hill in 2018.
The Washington Post reported that HUD Secretary Ben Carson will propose to increase the amount low-income households are expected to pay for rent. In addition, these households receiving housing subsidies would be required to work, according to the Trump administration’s legislative proposal obtained by The Post.
The move — which will require Congressional approval — would affect more than 4.5 million families relying on federal housing assistance. If passed, the legislation would likely make it even harder for low-income households to make rent.