Marin among nation's top three most expensive places for renters

An apartment construction site in Somerville

An apartment construction site in Somerville

The annual Out of Reach report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition analyzed every county in the USA and found that there isn't anywhere that someone working a minimum wage job, 40 hours a week, can afford a two-bedroom.

Low-wage workers have recently seen modest wage growth as the economy has improved, according to the report, but wages still remain too low for many workers to afford rental homes at the fair market rents.

The report, "Out of Reach", said the 2018 national housing wage is $22.10 ($45,986 annually) for a modest two-bedroom rental home and $17.90 ($37,232 annually) for a modest one-bedroom rental home.

In California, you can afford a typical two-bedroom apartment if you make just under $33 an hour - that's three times the state minimum wage of $11. There are only 22 counties in the entire nation where minimum-wage workers can afford even one-bedroom rentals on their salary alone.

Even the $15 living wage championed by Democrats would not make a dent in the vast majority of states. If a worker held 2.5 full-time jobs, they would make $25.70 an hour - that's more than the national housing wage, yet still not enough for Hawaii's steep real estate market.

"It's a national problem", said Andrew Aurand, vice president of research for the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Workers at the Community Services Agency, which provides housing, food and healthcare assistance to families in need, are seeing first-hand how the imbalance between wages and rent prices is impacting the Bay Area.




Housing costs vary greatly across the country. The minimum wage in Arkansas is $8.50 an hour.

In Hawaii, the state with the most expensive housing, the report found that the cost of renting a modest two-bedroom would require being paid $36.13 per hour. The same worker would still need to work 99 hours a week every week of the year to afford a one-bedroom.

The same day the Federal Reserve raised interest rates-signaling confidence in a growing economy-and on the heels of a seemingly positive May jobs report, a new study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) suggests that the economy isn't as healthy as some might believe.

Affordability is based on the federal standard that no more than 30 percent of a household's gross income should be spent on rent and utilities.

But opting for a one-bedroom apartment may not help. Maui County's housing wage was calculated to be $31.13.

"While the housing market may have recovered for many, we are nonetheless experiencing an affordable housing crisis, especially for very low-income families, " Sen.

According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies, the number of homes renting for $2,000 or more per month increased by 97 percent from 2005 to 2015. Bernie Sanders in the report's preface. Even now, only one in four households eligible for federal rent assistance gets it.

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