How Much is Enough?

Affordable housing is a problem across the United States. Many people relate these housing problems to those who are homeless and out of work, but this assumption is not always accurate. There are many people who are working and still cannot afford reasonable housing.


According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s (NLIHC) latest Out of Reach report, someone who makes the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour would need to work roughly three full-time jobs or 112 hours per week, each week of the year to afford a two bedroom apartment – which, for most people, isn’t a reasonable option.


Due to the difficulty attaining affordable housing on a minimum wage budget, minimum wage has been a hot topic of debate. Many politicians take the stance that the federal minimum wage needs to be increased, while others argue it should remain the same.


Housing wage is defined by the NLIHC as the amount of money an individual would need to earn to be able to afford rent and utilities for a modest two bedroom apartment at fair market rent while spending no more than thirty percent of their income on housing costs. For 2016, the housing wage needed to afford a two bedroom apartment is $20.30 and $16.35 for a one bedroom apartment². These costs are on the rise. In 2015, the housing wage was $19.35 for a two bedroom apartment². If the trend continues, affording housing will only become even more difficult to obtain for those making minimum wage.


But affordable housing also goes beyond those who live off of a minimum wage. The average hourly wage of someone renting in the United States is $15.42, which is $4.88 less than the current housing wage. This gap, too, contributes to the need for available affordable housing throughout the country.


Regardless of your stance on minimum wage, it is undeniable the need for affordable housing at a number of different wage levels lipitor weight loss. As such, CREA is committed to helping create affordable housing and make it a reality for individuals across the country.

  1. National Low Income Housing Coalition. Out of Reach: National Low Income Housing Coalition. 25 May 2016. <http://nlihc.org/oor>

  2. Housing Finance. How Much Do You Need to Earn to Afford a Modest Apartment? 25 May 2016. <http://www.housingfinance.com/news/affordable-housing-eludes-americas-workers_o>.