Rents are out of reach for most Americans earning minimum wage

Rents are out of reach for most Americans earning minimum wage

American renters are well aware of the dire housing market situation and a new report confirms that it’s only likely to worsen unless hourly wages are drastically increased. Workers simply don’t earn enough money to keep up with skyrocketing rental rates across the country, the National Low Income Housing Coalition found in its latest Out of Reach report.

On average, a renter in search of a modest two-bedroom home, who is seeking to stay within the 30% income window, needs to earn $24.90 per hour, the study says. (That figure is more than 3.4 times the federal minimum wage.) Those in search of a one-bedroom are in a similar position; they need to make $20.40 per hour.

Even in places where a higher minimum wage has been implemented, lower income non-homeowners face extreme financial hardship. California, where 45% of households are living in rentals, ranks number one as the most expensive rental market, despite the fact that the statewide minimum wage is as high as $14 an hour, depending on the size of the company.

According to the report, a person making $14 an hour would have to work 89 hours a week to cover the rent on a “modest” one bedroom.

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