Published: Sun, June 17, 2018
Economy | By Melissa Porter

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

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

Nationally, as the demand for rental housing has increased in the past decade, most rental housing being built is "geared largely toward the high end of the market, due to increasingly high development costs", according to the report. It's hard to praise Cleveland for its affordability when there are an average of 12 evictions every single day and an enormous waiting list for housing vouchers through CMHA.

"Absent public subsidy, the private market fails to provide sufficient housing affordable to the lowest income households", the study notes.

Yet here we are: The nonprofit National Low-Income Housing Coalition released a report yesterday titled "Out of Reach," which details how minimum-wage workers in every single USA state can not afford two-bedroom homes.

One-bedroom apartments are affordable in just 22 counties in five states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington.

A worker in the USA making minimum wage can't afford to pay rent on a basic two-bedroom apartment without working a lot of overtime, and even downsizing to only one bedroom doesn't help much, a study found. It's an annual report to document the gap between wages and the cost of rental housing across the United States.

A low-income worker earning the federal minimum wage would need 2.5 jobs to afford a one-bedroom apartment. In Seattle, a worker making the mean wage would have to put in 49 hours for a one-bedroom and 60 hours for a two-bedroom. But that's still almost double the Arkansas minimum wage of $8.50.

In Utah, the Fair Market Rate (FMR) for a two bedroom apartment is $924 per month.

Not surprisingly, mountain counties such as Pitkin, Eagle, San Miguel and Summit, with Boulder as well, require the highest wages to live at the standard set by the study.

The report calls out President Donald Trump and his administration, which has proposed cutting funding for federal housing assistance. The National Low-Income Housing Coalition noted that housing affordability improves in areas with higher minimum wages, but in Florida, local municipalities are barred from raising their own minimum wages. But, the report hows the average renter in Utah is only making $13.92 per hour or about $29,000 per year. "In America today, almost 11 million families pay more than half of their limited incomes toward rent and utilities". "But even in places where advocates have successfully achieved a minimum wage of upwards of $15 an hour, housing is still out of reach".

Most low-income renters rely on older structures that become more affordable over time but there isn't enough of that type of housing to go around. Bernie Sanders of Vermont wrote in the report's preface.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, half of those earning at or below the federal minimum wage are 25 and younger and three-fifths are employed in the leisure and hospitality industry.

But with the low-wage workforce projected to grow over the next decade, particularly in service-sector jobs such as personal-care aides and food-preparation workers, without a concrete solution, the future isn't looking particularly bright. Even now, only one in four households eligible for federal rent assistance gets it.

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