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New NLIHC “Out of Reach” Report Finds U.S. Rents Rise While Wages Fall

NHC member partner the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s (NLIHC) “Out of Reach 2010” report was released today and reveals that, despite the recession, rents are on the rise while wages continue to fall nationwide. According to the report, an American family needs to earn $18.44 an hour, or nearly $38,360 a year, to afford a modest rental home. Additional key findings from the report include:

  • The Fair Market Rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom home is a staggering $959 a month;
  • At the federal minimum wage of $7.25, a household would have to work 102 hours each week to afford the FMR for a two-bedroom home;
  • The two-bedroom Housing Wage topped $20.00 in 10 states: Hawaii, District of Columbia, California, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Alaska, and Florida;
  • A full-time minimum wage worker cannot afford even a one-bedroom apartment at the FMR in any county in the nation; and
  • The five most expensive metro areas include: Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut; San Francisco, California; Honolulu, Hawaii; Santa Cruz-Watsonville, California; and Westchester County, New York.

“Out of Reach 2010 shows once again that prevailing incomes and wages are simply not enough to allow a family to afford a decent home in their community,” said NLIHC President Sheila Crowley

NLIHC has called on Congress to fund the National Housing Trust Fund, which would provide communities with funds to build, rehabilitate, and preserve rental housing for people with the lowest incomes. Legislation creating the National Housing Trust Fund passed in 2008, but Congress has not yet capitalized the fund.

Learn more about the report’s data and sources.

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