Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

Minimum-Wage Earners Can't Afford 2-Bedroom Rentals in U.S.

Minimum-Wage Earners Can't Afford 2-Bedroom Rentals in U.S. Minimum-Wage Earners Can't Afford 2-Bedroom Rentals in U.S.
Jodi Jackson | 17 June, 2018, 19:54

The average fair market rent in Arkansas is $720 and the minimum wage is $8.50, the report notes. That applies to the two-bedroom apartments with a monthly rent of $595 and the single-family homes costing upward of $3,200 a month. But this process, known as filtering, does not produce enough affordable rental homes to serve extremely low income renters.

Minimum wage earners can no longer afford rent on a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the country.

It gets worse in many metropolitan areas.

In Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo Counties, you'll need to make at least $60 an hour - as much as $90 in some zip codes.

Renters in Stafford and Spotsylvania counties, as well as Fredericksburg, need to make $62,440 annually to be able to afford the rent on a one-bedroom apartment, a report suggests.

"It's a national problem", said Andrew Aurand, vice president of research for the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

"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. Out of Reach found that the hourly wage needed to afford a one bedroom at fair market rent is $17.44 in Caroline and $17.08 in King George.

But opting for a one-bedroom apartment may not help. Increasingly, households across the country spend 50 percent or more of their income on housing, making them "severely cost-burdened". The report reveals that 41 percent of Cuyahoga County residents are renters, and the housing wage needed is less than the state's average at $15.10. Eric Thomas will have more on this study starting at 4 p.m. on ABC7 News.

"There are a lot of doctors and dentists renting", he said. The worker would have to take on another, part-time, minimum-wage job to make up the difference.

Erhard Mahnke, coordinator of the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition, said that those statistics show that although unemployment in Vermont has decreased in the past few years, most of the jobs created have been "lower wage, service sector jobs". Over time, those properties will be demolished and replaced with new rental units that likely will be aimed at those who earn higher wages. HousingNOLA also recommends the city adopt a smart housing mix ordinance, which Gov. John Bel Edwards recently ensured cities like New Orleans could adopt when he vetoed a measure that would prevent municipalities from tasking developers to include affordable units in new construction, a process of "inclusionary zoning" that the New Orleans City Council has generally supported but has not put laws in place to secure those units. Even now, only one in four households eligible for federal rent assistance gets it.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration has tried cutting federal housing subsidies for the lowest-income Americans.

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