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Minimum wage doesn't pay the rent anywhere

15 June, 2018, 15:49 | Author: Lawrence Cooper
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And if those workers wanted to?

A new study published by the National Low Income Housing Coalition shows that OH workers would need to make nearly double the minimum wage to rent a two-bedroom apartment. San Francisco is followed by San Jose at $48 per hour and Oakland at $45 per hour.

Today the National Low Income Housing Coalition released Out of Reach 2018, its latest annual report on housing costs, and well they're bad.

Here in Washington, workers need to make $19* an hour to afford a studio apartment, $22 for a one-bedroom, $27 for a two-bedroom, and $39 for a three-bedroom.

This year, New Orleans' housing wage for a two-bedroom unit was one of the highest in Louisiana, second only to Vernon Parish.

"This year's findings", the report says, "demonstrate how far out of reach modestly priced housing is for the growing low-wage work force, despite recent wage growth, and for other vulnerable populations across the country".

New to this year's report is a breakdown of costs by ZIP code.

How did they get these numbers? While the rental market added more than 6.7 million housing units between 2005 and 2015, the number of units renting for less than $800 dropped by more than 260,000, according to the report. To define "affordability", it uses the industry standard of spending no more than 30 percent of income on rent.

How do the states stack up? . That translates into the largest shortfall between the average renter wage and "housing wage" in the nation.

The average fair market rent in Hawaii is $1,879, the most expensive in all 50 states.

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Meanwhile, Hawai'i's minimum wage is set at $10.10 per hour, with no future increases scheduled. California and NY are the third and fourth most expensive states respectively. In San Francisco, for example, a renter would have to make $60.02. In Seattle/Bellevue, it's $24 and across King County it's $25.

Anyone making that amount would have to work triple shifts of 119 hours a week for a 2-bedroom apartment.

A little, but not by much.

Hoover over each state to see how much you would need to earn to afford a modest apartment. The national "housing wage" for a two-bedroom is $22.50.

How can this issue be addressed?

"Make no mistake: while the housing market may have recovered for many, we are nonetheless experiencing an affordable housing crisis, especially for low-income families", Sen.

Not even in Arkansas, the state with the cheapest housing in the country.

The report also questions "filtering", the idea that if developers just keep building enough market-rate housing, that housing will eventually become affordable for low-income people. Already three out of four eligible households receive no assistance. 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. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said in the report.

"In the richest country in history", he says, "no family should have to make the very bad choice between food on the table and keeping a roof over their heads". What's less clear is how, and when, affordable housing will be the new normal.

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