Thursday, May 26, 2016

In most rural counties, a two-bedroom apartment is out of reach for many workers

Individual renters need to earn, on average, $20.30 an hour to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment in the U.S., says a report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

The Washington Post broke down the numbers by county, finding that a two-bedroom apartment would eat up 30 percent—more than 30 percent is considered unaffordable—of most workers' earnings, with numbers well above 50 percent in some counties, particularly in the South, where rural poverty is high. (Screen shot of interactive Post map: Residents earning minimum wage in Walthall County, Mississippi, where the poverty level is 26.4 percent, would need to spend 82.4 percent of their income on a fair market value two-bedroom apartment)
"The national pattern—the minimum wage isn't really a 'housing wage' anywhere in America, even at 40 hours a week—hints at the difficulty of being a poor single parent," Emily Badger and Christopher Ingraham report for the Post. "And it's just the most dire expression of an affordable housing crunch affecting renters much farther up the income spectrum, too."

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