A national survey found that Stamford, Connecticut has most expensive rents among other U.S. cities. Residents need a household wage of $31.58 to...
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A national survey found that Stamford, Connecticut has most expensive rents among other U.S. cities. Residents need a household wage of $31.58 to afford fair market rent on a two-bedroom rental unit. Find out which other metro areas and states have high housing costs.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition recently calculated the full time hourly wage (household wage) households would need to reasonably afford* what the Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates to be the Fair Market Rent (FMR) in various metropolitan cities. Here's what they found:
|Metropolitan Area||Household Wage Needed to Afford 2-Bedroom FMR|
|Orange County, CA||$30.67/hr|
|San Francisco, CA||$30.62/hr|
|Westchester County, NY||$29.21/hr|
|Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA||$28.71/hr|
|Oxnard-Thousands Oaks-Ventura, CA||$27.35/hr|
|San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA||$26.06/hr|
The Stamford-Norwalk area in Connecticut may have topped the list of the most expensive cities to rent a two-bedroom unit, but Honolulu was not far behind. Cities in California also dominated the list, with Orange County and San Francisco at number three and number four respectively.
|State||Household Wage Needed to Afford 2-Bedroom FMR|
Lack of housing puts Hawaii at the top of the list of the most expensive states to rent a two-bedroom apartment. Residents of this state need to earn $5 more per hour than residents of California and $6 more per hour than residents in New York to afford Fair Market Rent on a two-bedroom unit.
According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition's analysis, the average U.S. renter earns $13.94 per hour.
If a renter earning this wage worked 40 hours per week, they would not have sufficient income to afford the national average Fair Market Rent of $900 per month (two-bedroom unit.) The worker would need to earn an additional $3.38 per hour or work 50 hours per week to make up the difference.
An individual who earns the federal minimum wage ($5.85 per hour) has virtually no chance of affording the Fair Market Rent on a two-bedroom, or even a one-bedroom, rental unit.
Elderly or disabled individuals earning the maximum federal payment of $637 per month also have no chance of reasonably affording Fair Market Rent. This is true even if they were living in the least expensive city--Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana--where Fair Market Rent is $307 for a studio apartment.
Not surprisingly, the National Low Income Housing Coalition determined that Fair Market Rent would need to come down or incomes would need to go up before rents could be considered affordable for most individuals.
*'Reasonably afford' is defined as spending no more than 30 percent of gross income on housing costs
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