Friday, 22 March, 2019

Minimum wage doesn't cover the rent anywhere in the US

An apartment construction site in Somerville Dina Rudick Globe Staff An apartment construction site in Somerville
Russell Knight | 15 June, 2018, 05:41

According to a new report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition released Wednesday, there is nowhere in the USA that someone working full-time at a minimum wage job could afford to rent a two-bedroom apartment.

In Hawaii, which has the nation's most expensive rental market, prospective renters have to make $36.13 an hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment on their own.

An afternoon recap of the day's most important business news, delivered weekdays. The minimum wage in Redwood City, though it will soon increase, is $11. "We need to make sure government funding for housing is targeted to those among us who need help the most". Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, said in a press release that low wage workers often have to choose between paying for rent, health care, childcare, and other basic necessities.

One-bedroom apartments are affordable in just 22 counties in five states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition and the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in OH released a report today revealing that most OH jobs don't pay enough to cover the cost of rent.

Workers at the Community Services Agency, which provides housing, food and healthcare assistance to families in need, are seeing first-hand how the imbalance between wages and rent prices is impacting the Bay Area. In Honolulu, residents earning minimum wage need to work 3.9 full-time jobs to afford a two-bedroom at fair market rent. In the Burlington-South Burlington area, the housing wage is $27.73, but that wage drops to $15.21 in Orleans County.

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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Even for a single bedroom, you'd need to work 93 hours.

Affordability is based on the federal standard that no more than 30 percent of a household's gross income should be spent on rent and utilities.

The NLIHC found USA workers need to earn $22.10 an hour to afford a "modest" two-bedroom rental. At the same time, new rental construction has tilted toward the luxury market because of increasingly high development costs, the report said.

"In America today, almost 11 million families pay more than half of their limited incomes toward rent and utilities", Sanders writes.

According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies (2017), the number of homes renting for $2,000 or more per month increased by 97% between 2005 and 2015 with the new development of high-end apartments and rising rents of existing apartments. The worker would have to take on another, part-time, minimum-wage job to make up the difference.

Local reports have also pointed to the acute shortage of housing for very low-income renters in Charlotte. Even now, only one in four households eligible for federal rent assistance gets it.

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