How Much You Need to Earn to Rent a Home in Each State

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In 2010, New York City mayoral candidate Jimmy McMillan made the slogan “the rent is too damn high” a rallying cry. Not much has changed since then—for most people, the rent is still far too high. According to a new report (featured on Digg), the average hourly wage needed to rent a two-bedroom home across the U.S. is $21.21, or around three times the federal minimum wage. The National Low Income Housing Coalition’s annual report on housing affordability, "Out of Reach: The High Cost of Housing" [PDF] details just how much money the average renter needs in order to make rent easily. The figures are based on what the average family would have to earn in order to pay for a modest home using less than a third of their paycheck (a common standard for what’s "affordable" in housing; any more is considered "rent-burdened" [PDF]). The cost estimates are taken from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.


According to the report, even though many states have higher minimum wage laws than the federal government, "in no state, metropolitan area, or county can a full-time minimum-wage worker afford a modest two-bedroom rental home. In only 12 counties can a full-time minimum-wage worker afford a modest one-bedroom rental home." (The report doesn’t take into account places like Portland, where the minimum wage is higher than in other parts of Oregon.)


The National Low Income Housing Coalition calculates these figures anew every year, and for the most part, rental costs are continuing to rise across the country. Whereas you used to need $28.60 an hour to afford a two-bedroom in California, in 2017, you’ll need almost $31 an hour. Hope you're getting a raise this year. [h/t Digg]