Per an article on The Wall Street Journal
Minimum wage workers are finding they aren’t earning enough to afford rental increases, finds a new report released by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, which highlights the widening gap between stagnant incomes and the rapid increase in rents across the country.
Renter households would need to earn at least $19.35 an hour working full-time in order to afford a two-bedroom rental – that is $4 more than the estimated minimum wage of U.S. workers, according to the report. In some locations, renters would need to earn even more. For example, a household in San Francisco would need to make $39.65 an hour to afford the rent for at two-bedroom apartment.
The report finds that there is no state in the country where someone earning either the state or federal minimum wage could afford a market-rate one-bedroom apartment. To afford a one-bedroom apartment, a minimum wage worker would need to work 86 hours per week.
The affordability crunch for renters who earn minimum wage was most pronounced in San Francisco, followed by Stamford-Norwalk, Conn., where earners would need to make $37.37 an hour working full-time to afford a standard two-bedroom apartment there.
On a statewide comparison, Hawaii renters could face the biggest troubles. Renters in Hawaii need to earn at least $31.61 an hour – which equates to working more than four full-time jobs at minimum wage – in order to afford a two-bedroom apartment, the report notes. Also close behind, in Washington, D.C., households would need to earn $28.04 per hour and in California they’d need $26.65 an hour – which equates to renters having to work three minimum-wage jobs in order to afford a two-bedroom rental unit.
The markets that have seen rents rise by the highest amounts since 2009 are:
- New York: 50.7%
- Seattle: 32.38%
- San Jose, Calif.: 25.6%
- Denver: 24.14%
- St. Louis: 22.26%
Source: “Minimum Wage in U.S. Cities Not Enough to Afford Rent, Report Says,” The Wall Street Journal (May 19, 2015)