Report Finds Rents Out of Reach for Those Earning Minimum Wage
Every year, the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) puts out its "Out of Reach" report examining the housing wage, the hourly wage a full-time worker must earn to afford a modest, safe rental home without spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing costs. The report covers all states, counties, metropolitan areas, and ZIP codes in the country, highlighting the gap between what renters earn and what it costs to rent.
This year, the report finds that there is no place in the country where minimum wage earners can afford a home at Fair Market Rent without spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing. The report concludes a “full-time worker must earn at least $20.40 per hour to rent a modest one-bedroom home, or $24.90 per hour to rent a modest two-bedroom home.”
The “Out of Reach” report suggests the following policies to address the affordable housing crisis:
- Expand access to rental assistance to every eligible household in need by fully funding the Housing Choice Voucher program;
- Expand the supply of homes affordable to the lowest income people with significant increases in capital investments through an annual congressional investment of at least $45 billion to the national Housing Trust Fund;
- Create a National Housing Stabilization fund to provide emergency assistance to families who experience a sudden and temporary shock to their finances; and
- Strengthen and enforce renter protections with a federal ban on “source-of-income” discrimination and establish a national right to counsel program with sufficient funds to provide legal services during eviction proceedings.