Honolulu Workers Need $39 An Hour To Afford A 2-Bedroom Rental

Honolulu Workers Need $39 An Hour To Afford A 2-Bedroom Rental

Honolulu Workers Need $39 An Hour To Afford A 2-Bedroom Rental

Despite state and city minimum wage increases, nowhere in the United States can a full-time minimum wage worker afford a two-bedroom apartment, according to a new report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

A worker in the USA making minimum wage can't afford to pay rent on a basic two-bedroom apartment without working a lot of overtime, and even downsizing to only one bedroom doesn't help much, a study found.

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"This is a crisis that's not only affecting the most impoverished people", said Daniel Cooperman, program director for Bay Area Community Services, "but it's folks that have lived generation after generation in this area and are now being displaced".

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"The housing crisis is growing, especially for the lowest-income workers, " said Diane Yentel, president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. A one-bedroom is affordable only with a minimum wage job in a small number of counties in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, all states that have set the minimum wage above the federal level.

Common wisdom says to spend no more than a quarter to a third of your wages on your housing.

Using the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour and national and statewide data on rental prices, researchers found that the average worker would have to put in 122 hours per week to afford a two-bedroom apartment at the national fair market rent, an estimate the government updates every year, usually based on the 40th percentile of the gross rent of a given area. "The rents are far out of reach from what the average renter is earning".

In Ohio, the fair market rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom apartment is $793. The national "housing wage" for a two-bedroom is $22.50. That means spending no more than 30% of their income on housing costs - the typical rule of thumb when budgeting for housing. The number of homes renting for $2,000 or more per month almost doubled between 2005 and 2015.

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"In America today, almost 11 million families pay more than half of their limited incomes toward rent and utilities", Sanders writes. The worker would have to take on another, part-time, minimum-wage job to make up the difference. Already three out of four eligible households receive no assistance. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson recently proposed tripling rent for the poorest households and making it easier for housing authorities to impose work requirements on those receiving rent subsidies.

According to the study, low-wage work is expected to grow over the next 10 years, but seven of the ten occupations are expected to provide a median wage that is lower than the housing wage.

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