Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Minimum wage is not enough to rent a decent one-bedroom residence anywhere in U.S.

Nowhere in the U.S. can a single-income household afford a decent one-bedroom residence by working a 40-hour week at minimum wage, Emily Badger and Christopher Ingraham report for The Washington Post. The cheapest-housing counties, all in rural Arkansas, would require a salary of at least $7.98 an hour to cover fair-market rent, which is defined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development as being "rent plus utilities, based on the local market for decent-quality apartments of different sizes—neither dumps nor luxury flats."

"They call this rate a 'housing wage,' and it is, unsurprisingly, much higher than the minimum wage in much of the country," Badger and Ingraham write. The National Low Income Housing Coalition examined how much someone in each U.S. county would need to make to afford a one-bedroom residence. (Read more) The Post details the findings through a county-level map, which shows higher wages are needed for decent housing in many metropolitan areas, but also in rural boom regions like North Dakota's oil-producing Williston Basin and areas where urbanites have many rural retreats, such as New England and eastern New York. has an interactive version.  

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