A full-time minimum wage worker can’t afford a two-bedroom rental anywhere in the U.S., according to a new report.
Housing costs have become so expensive that there is no state, county or city in the country where a full-time, minimum-wage worker working 40 hours a week can afford a two-bedroom rental.
The shocking statistic was revealed in a new report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) which also revealed those workers can only afford a one-bedroom rental in only 218 of the 3,006 U.S. counties.
The federal minimum wage is $7.25 with the average renter earning only $18.78 an hour.
According to the report an average worker would need to earn $24.90 per hour in order to afford a two-bedroom home at Fair Market Rent. And a $20.40 “housing wage” would be needed for a one-bedroom, as reported by CNN.
“These amounts are far higher than many Americans — including seniors, people with disabilities, and working families — can spend on housing,” wrote Marcia L. Fudge, secretary of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, in the preface to the report.
An average renter in 17 states – including California, Florida, and New York – earns at least $5.00 below the state’s average two-bedroom housing wage.
The report, which includes an interactive map that shows how much you need to earn in your area to afford rent, says a minimum-wage worker would have to put in 89 hours every week just to afford the one-bedroom and 112 hours to afford the two-bedroom.
“One full-time job should be enough,” the report says, urging the federal government to raise the minimum wage, provide more rental assistance, fund the construction of more affordable housing and introduce stronger renter protections.
The Coronavirus pandemic has only made the situation worse with more than 580,000 people homeless during the peak of the coronavirus crisis last year, according to the U.S. Department for Housing and Urban Development.
Stronger rent protection laws
Last September, in response to the pandemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a nationwide delay on evictions which is set to expire at the end of the month.
Housing affordability is a greater challenge for Black and Latino households, the report found.
The NLIHC is urging the government to ensure that Covid-era emergency rental assistance programs help those with the greatest need. It is also calling for policymakers to create permanent, universal rental assistance for eligible households, to invest in new affordable housing and to implement stronger renter protection laws, as per CNBC.
This shocking statistic will only lead to more people becoming homeless or working themselves into an early grave. Something needs to be done to ensure wages rise in line with living costs.
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