New Report Reveals Rents Are Unaffordable Nationwide
The National Low Income Housing Coalition recently released its latest annual report. It found that rents are unaffordable to full-time working people in every community across the country. In "Out of Reach 2012: America's Forgotten Housing Crisis," the National Low Income Housing Coalition reports that a full-time worker must earn $18.25 per hour in order to afford rent and utilities on a modest two-bedroom rental unit without spending more than 30 percent of income on housing costs. By contrast, the average American renter earns just $14.15 per hour.
Out of Reach 2012 is a side-by-side comparison of wages and rents in every county, metropolitan area, combined nonmetropolitan area, and state in the United States. For each jurisdiction, the report calculates the amount of money a household must earn in order to afford a rental unit in a range of sizes at the area's Fair Market Rent, based on the generally accepted affordability standard of paying no more than 30 percent of income for housing costs.
In the report's preface, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan notes that high unemployment makes renting unaffordable for many people, particularly in rural areas; while renters are priced out even in more affluent parts of the country, where stagnant homeownership rates put pressure on the rental market.