NLIHC Annual Report: Modest Two-Bedroom Market-Rate Home Unaffordable to Full-Time Minimum Wage Workers in Every County in U.S.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020 - 10:15am

In no state, metropolitan area or county in the United States can workers earning minimum wage–whether federal or prevailing state or local minimum wage–afford a modest two-bedroom rental home at fair market rent by working a standard 40-hour week, according to Out of Reach 2020, an annual report released today by the National Low-Income Housing Coalition. American renters need to earn an average of $23.96 per hour to afford a modest two-bedroom rental home and $19.56 per hour for a modest one-bedroom rental. The average minimum-wage worker must work nearly 97 hours per week to afford a two-bedroom rental home, according to the report, which points out that the COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated the national affordable housing crunch. The hourly wage needed to afford a two-bedroom apartment ranges from $14.19 in Arkansas to $38.76 in Hawaii. The report calls for broad federal investment in affordable housing, including a 50 percent basis boost for low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) properties that set aside at least 20 percent of their housing to extremely low-income renters. The report also calls for a permanent National Housing Stabilization Fund, full funding for the Housing Choice Voucher program, a significant investment in the national Housing Trust Fund and significant capital investment in public housing.