Average worker can't afford 2-bedroom apartment anywhere in US

A new report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition found minimum-wage workers in most of the country cannot afford a modest 2-bedroom apartment

According to a report published this week from the National Low-Income Housing Coalition, a person trying to find a one-bedroom apartment in Seattle this year would need earn at least $29.40 an hour, or $61,152 a year.

The study bases its definition of "modest" rental housing on a weighted average of fair market rent estimates developed annually by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to calculate the agency's housing assistance to poor people around the country.

Minimum wage doesn't cover the cost of rent anywhere in the United States - not Hawaii, not Arkansas, not anywhere.

Even the $15 living wage championed by Democrats would not make a dent in the vast majority of states.

Employees in the Commonwealth must make $23.29 an hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment, according to the study.

According to the report, a worker earning minimum wage would have to work 99 hours per week all year long to afford a one-bedroom home.

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The disparity is starkest in major metropolitan areas. According to the new report, minimum wage workers in Washington have to work 93 hours a week to afford a two-bedroom home.

"The housing crisis has reached historic heights, most negatively impacting the lowest income renters", said Diane Yentel, the coalition's CEO". "The rents are far out of reach from what the average renter is earning". The city is one of many now buckling under rising housing costs, Seattle's having been propelled in part by the same corporations that fought against the tax.

Only five states - Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington - have one-bedrooms affordable for minimum-wage workers across 22 counties. In Kansas, where the state minimum wage is $7.25, you'd need to make $10.53 an hour to afford a studio.

If you live in San Carlos or Redwood City, California-near San Francisco, but not the most expensive part of the Bay Area-and have a minimum-wage job in retail or at a coffee shop, you won't make enough to afford a typical studio apartment. In the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy metropolitan area, that rises to $27.33. The national "housing wage" for a two-bedroom is $22.50. The study looks at how much money full-time workers need to earn to afford housing without spending more than 30 percent of their income - known as a housing wage. In Seattle, the minimum wage now ranges from $11.50 to $15 an hour depending on the size of the employer and benefits offered. That means even those making above minimum wage struggle to afford rent.

The cost of housing has steadily risen along with increased demand for rentals, yet new construction has trended toward the high-end market due to lofty development expenses, the findings said. But different political decisions could begin to solve the problem of affordable housing. Bernie Sanders in the report's preface.

The low-wage workforce is projected to grow over the next decade, particularly in service-sector jobs such as personal-care aides and food-preparation workers.

City officials have been considering the so-called Smart Housing Mix - a policy that would require developers to reserve some apartments in large complexes for low-income residents - for almost two years but have not finalized those plans.

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