No one earning minimum wage can afford a modest apartment

A report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition finds a person in Idaho would need to be making around $15 an hour to afford the rent for a two-bedroom home. The minimum wage in Idaho is $7.25 an hour. The report finds renters in the Gem State

A report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition finds a person in Idaho would need to be making around $15 an hour to afford the rent for a two-bedroom home. The minimum wage in Idaho is $7.25 an hour. The report finds renters in the Gem State

The cheapest housing in the USA can be found in Arkansas, where the minimum wage is $8.50 an hour.

Even the $15 living wage championed by Democrats would not make a dent in the vast majority of states.

If you want to rent a two-bedroom apartment in the South Bay, you'd better make close to $50 an hour - or roughly $100,000 a year - according to a startling new report that pegs all three of the nation's most expensive regions for renters squarely within the Bay Area.

The report's Housing Wage is an estimate of the hourly wage a full-time worker must earn to afford a rental home at HUD's fair market rent (FMR) without spending more than 30 percent of his or her income on housing costs.

In California, you can afford a typical two-bedroom apartment if you make just under $33 an hour - that's three times the state minimum wage of $11.

"The housing crisis is growing, especially for the lowest-income workers", Diane Yentel, president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, told The Washington Post.

A map included in the report shows the rent necessary in each state to afford a two-bedroom home
A map included in the report shows the rent necessary in each state to afford a two-bedroom home. Credit National Low Income Housing Coalition

They would need to earn as much as an additional $8 an hour to rent in some of city's most in-demand neighborhoods, such as the Garden District or Uptown.

The housing wage for a one-bedroom apartment in Washington is $21.65.

Washington state has the eighth highest housing wage in the United States, according to the report. Those states all set their minimum wages higher than the federal minimum of $7.25. In the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy metropolitan area, that rises to $27.33. It's all detailed in Out of Reach 2018, a new report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

To get the $23.93 hourly wage figure, the report factors housing costs as 30 percent of income, thus a household must earn $4,148 monthly or $49,780 annually. In Seattle, the minimum wage now ranges from $11.50 to $15 an hour depending on the size of the employer and benefits offered. While these city developments are targeting new medical and corporate professionals moving to the area, Cleveland residents are still struggling to find affordable housing. The number of homes renting for $2,000 or more per month almost doubled between 2005 and 2015. "Building that political will take a combination of increased civic engagement-to ensure that low-income renters vote at similar rates as higher income homeowners - and expanded coalitions that include the health, education, civil rights and faith-based communities, all of which have a stake in ensuring more people are affordably housed". Bernie Sanders of Vermont wrote in the report's preface.

The low-wage workforce is projected to grow over the next decade, particularly in service-sector jobs such as personal-care aides and food-preparation workers.

All of these states have minimum wages higher than the federal minimum wage, but if you're looking for housing outside of the 22 counties, even these higher minimum wages aren't enough.

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