As NJ Rents Continue to Climb, Finding an Apartment Becomes Even Tougher

17 June, 2018, 19:54 | Author: Teresa Adams
  • Ridiculous height restrictions create a monotonous skyline with buildings all the same height. 27 march 2015

The report, released this week, shows that housing costs continue to outpace wages for low-income renters.

The report by the coalition says that in Colorado, a worker needs to earn $23.93 an hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment, while the Fair Market Rent is $1,245 in the state.

According to the study, renters nationwide earn, on average, $16.88 per hour, more than twice as much as the federal minimum of $7.25. Though the state recently raised its minimum wage to $10.10, households still need to earn $36.13 per hour to afford that 2-bedroom home.

The most expensive county in the state is Honolulu, where the "housing wage" is $39.06 per hour.

The researchers based their findings on each region's fair market rent - a number set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that estimates the standard cost of rent and utilities in an area.

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"If they need something less than $500 it's nearly impossible and a lot of those properties that are available are very unhealthy, unstable and no one would really want to live there if they could avoid it, but that's the reality", she told us. This means that even the $15 living wage campaign supported by many Democrats would fail to address the problem for people living in most of the country.

What do you get when you combine minimum wage with increasing apartment rents? "They need to do a revision", said Tillman.

In California, the gap is even greater.

Renters who want a place with more bedrooms better earn above the area median income: A three-bedroom apartment requires a $77,400 yearly wage. It affects about 9,000 people.

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.

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In Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo Counties, you'll need to make at least $60 an hour - as much as $90 in some zip codes.

The average housing wage needed in the Youngstown-Warren area $13.17 per hour.

The minimum wage in ME is $10 per hour, much less than the $18.73 an hour needed to pay for the $974 apartment.

But in Virginia, according to a report released in 2016 by Oxfam America and the Economic Policy Institute, 51 percent of workers between the ages of 25 and 54 earn $12 an hour or less. Over the past decade, construction of new rental units has been geared toward the high end of the market. The report found that a Vermonter on Supplemental Social Security Income, for example, could only afford to pay $241 toward rent a month. The number of homes renting for $2,000 or more per month almost doubled between 2005 and 2015. Just one in four qualifying households gets federal assistance.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration has tried cutting federal housing subsidies for the lowest-income Americans.

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