A recent report published by the National Low Income Housing Coalition revealed that an American needs to earn at least a wage of $20.30 per hour in order to afford a modest, two-bedroom apartment in the U.S.
The so-called “housing wage” is $4.88 higher than the estimated national average wage of $15.42. The discrepancy, however, gets a lot more alarming for the minimum wage earners who get $7.25 per hour, Citylab reported.
The worst-case scenario would bring a minimum wage earning American to District of Columbia or the other six states that would require at least $25 per hour to get a modest home.
“The lowest-income renters without housing assistance have always struggled to afford housing, but in recent years they have become even more squeezed as more households enter the rental market,” Andrew Aurand, the vice president of research at NLIHC, told CityLab.
While the rental-housing market and hourly wages are different per state, it is pretty obvious how the housing costs have ridiculously grown out of proportion. Based on the map, Hawaii and San Francisco demand the highest hourly wage requirements at $34.22 and $44.02 for two-bedroom apartments respectively.
The group based their findings off a forty hour work week, highlighting how an average American minimum wage earner struggles to find affordable rent in every state in the country.
Demand for rental apartments in the US has grown exponentially over the past decades with more and more people, especially millennials, choosing to rent rather than buy homes.
One solution the report has put forward is creating more affordable housing supply by getting enough funding for the National Housing Trust Fund:
“This report confirms that investing in affordable housing — as HUD is doing by providing annual housing support for nearly 5.5 million households and through the new national Housing Trust Fund, as part of innovative efforts like the Rental Assistance Demonstration, and with incentives like the Low Income Housing Tax Credit — is one of the most important steps we can take to help people succeed today, and live healthier lives long into the future,” said Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro in the report’s preface.