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

Mark Moz  Flickr Creative Commons

According to a new report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition released Wednesday, there is nowhere in the USA that someone working full-time at a minimum wage job could afford to rent a two-bedroom apartment. The state also has the fifth largest gap between the average hourly wage renters make, $12.85, and housing wage.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition and the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in OH released a report today revealing that most OH jobs don't pay enough to cover the cost of rent.

Even in the state with the cheapest housing, Arkansas, an individual would need to earn $13.84 an hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment. Hawaii is No. 1 on the Out of Reach ranking of states and you should not even entertain the idea of moving there if you want to earn minimum wage and pay for your own place. The report uses the minimum wage, mean renter wage, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development's definition of fair market rent. The worker would have to take on another, part-time, minimum-wage job to make up the difference.

"This new national report confirms what we all know: Hawai'i is facing the worst affordable housing crisis in the country", said Gavin Thornton, co-director of the Hawai'i Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice.

In Massachusetts, renters would need to make $23.15 an hour to afford a one-bedroom, the report said.

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. That's especially true for Americans working minimum-wage jobs who rent a home. This year's findings demonstrate how far out of reach modestly priced housing is for the growing low-wage work force, despite recent wage growth, and for other vulnerable populations across the country. Compared to other states, Washington ranks as the eighth most expensive state for a two-bedroom apartment.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition, an advocacy group, published a new report Wednesday highlighting the disparities between incomes and rents nationwide. To get that annual income based on a 40-hour work week, 52 weeks a year, you need to earn $23.93 an hour.

Lastly, Hawaii, the state with the most expensive housing: The minimum wage there is $10.10, and the housing wage for a one-bedroom apartment is $27.44.

In Utah, the Fair Market Rate (FMR) for a two bedroom apartment is $924 per month. Bernie Sanders in the report's preface. These programs have been chronically underfunded, and the Trump administration has proposed raising the rents of these affordable housing options.

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