Affordable Rentals for Minimum Wage Workers Are Nonexistent

People who earn minimum wage can see at least half of their monthly earnings consumed by the cost of housing.

July 17, 2017
Seattle Minimum Wage Protest

The percentage of full-time minimum-wage workers who can afford a one-bedroom apartment is so scant, the figure rounds out to zero. Even worse is no full-time minimum-wage employee can afford a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the United States, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25, and affordability is defined by the ability to pay 30 percent of a household’s income or less for the cost of housing. Yet housing cost  has risen so significantly that even a one-bedroom rental is out of reach everywhere with the exception of 12 counties in rural Washington, Arizona, and Oregon, per CityLab.

This CNBC story also quotes Forbes columnist Tim Worstall who wrote that minimum-wage workers have arguably never been able to afford housing. “If we want housing to be cheaper, we should build more of it,” he writes. For more perspectives about the impact of the dearth of housing supply from the National Employment Law Project and Harvard University’s 2017 State of the Nation’s Housing Report click the link below.

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PB-Affordable Housing