Average worker can’t afford 2-bedroom apartment anywhere in US, report says
(KRON) – Retail salespeople, maintenance workers, restaurant employees — millions of Americans are struggling to get by in low-paying jobs.
Affordable housing is a big challenge.
Minimum wage earners can no longer afford rent on a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the country.
The report comes from the National Coalition For Low Income Housing, which says only a handful of states offer affordable housing for people making less than $15 an hour.
The problem? Even the lowest amount is higher than the local minimum wage. The 2018 national Housing Wage is $22.10 for a modest two-bedroom rental home and $17.90 for a modest one-bedroom rental house, according to the report.
It also states that one-bedroom is affordable for minimum-wage workers in only 22 counties in five states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington. All of those states have set their minimum wages higher than the federal minimum of $7.25.
For example, in Arkansas, you only need to earn a little over $13 for a typical 2-bedroom apartment.
However, that’s still almost double the Arkansas minimum wage of $8.50.
In New Mexico, the minimum wage is $7.70
You can afford a typical 2-bedroom apartment if you make just under $15.89 an hour.
Anyone making that amount would have to work triple shifts of 85 hours a week for a 2-bedroom apartment.
Even for a single bedroom, you’d need to work 69 hours.
In New Mexico, the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom apartment is $827. In order to afford this level of rent and utilities, a household must earn at least $2,755 monthly or $33,062 annually.
A one-bedroom apartment is $671.
There is also a total of 245,732 renter households in New Mexico, according to the report.
Below are some of the most expensive areas in New Mexico:
Los Alamos County: $19.67 Santa Fe: $19.35 Lincoln County: $16.90 Albuquerque: $16.79 Eddy County: 15.75
Albuquerque: $16.79 Farmington: $14.81 Las Cruces: $14.48 Santa Fe: $19.35