Rents pricing out minimum-wage workers across the USA, report says

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The national average wage workers would need to earn in order to make rent payments on a two-bedroom apartment is $22.10 an hour, according to Out of Reach, an annual report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition that examines the shortfall between wages and the costs of renting. In the Oakland metropolitan area, which includes Alameda and Contra Costa counties, renters earn an average of $22 an hour - much more than Oakland's $13.23 minimum wage.

The county's "housing wage", or the amount you'd need to make per hour to spend no more than 30% of your income on rent, is $38.73 an hour.

Last year, New Orleanians needed to earn $18.54 an hour, the most in the state, to rent a two-bedroom apartment.

"This year's findings demonstrate how far out of reach modestly priced housing is for the growing low-wage work force, despite recent wage growth, and for other vulnerable populations across the country", the report states. Pitkin's housing wage is $33.40, which is the highest in the state.

Even the $15 living wage championed by Democrats would not make a dent in the vast majority of states. This is also known as the "housing wage".

Low wages are compounded by a shortage in federal housing assistance. The average fair market rent in Arkansas is $720 and the minimum wage is $8.50, the report notes.

Vermont towns need to examine their zoning laws to ensure that multi-family dwellings can be built, Mahnke said, which provide "greater value for lower cost".

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In Ohio, the fair market rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom apartment is $793.

San Francisco tops the list for the cities with the most expensive housing wage.

Lastly, Hawaii, the state with the most expensive housing: The minimum wage there is $10.10, and the housing wage for a one-bedroom apartment is $27.44. And downsizing to a one-bedroom pad barely helps. Almost 11 million extremely low-income families pay more than half their incomes on rent.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition, an advocacy group, published a new report Wednesday highlighting the disparities between incomes and rents nationwide. For a one-bedroom apartment, the NLIHC's report found you'd have to bring in $17.90 an hour.

According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies (2017), the number of homes renting for $2,000 or more per month increased by 97% between 2005 and 2015 with the new development of high-end apartments and rising rents of existing apartments. Already three out of four eligible households receive no assistance. Bernie Sanders of Vermont wrote in the report's preface.

"Rather than address the affordable housing crisis, the (Trump) administration's proposed spending cuts for FY 2019 would, if enacted, lead to the largest reduction in affordable housing and community development in decades", said the report.

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