Out of Reach 2013
Each year, the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) releases an annual side-by-side comparison of wages and rents in the United States. As found in past years, Out of Reach 2013 indicates a wide and growing gap between American families’ cost of housing and their ability to pay for it.
The report states that in order to afford a modest, two-bedroom rental home, a family in this country needs to earn $18.79 per hour, exceeding the $14.32 hourly wage earned by the average renter by almost $4.50 an hour, and greatly exceeding wages earned by low income renter households.
While we urge you to read the full report, here are a few national findings that we found especially interesting:
- Renter households represent 35% of all households in the U.S.
- The Fair Market Rent (FMR) – the 40th percentile of gross rents for typical, non-substandard rental units – for a two-bedroom rental unit in the U.S. is $977.
- A renter earning the federal minimum wage must work 104 hours per week to afford a two-bedroom rental unit at FMR.
- A renter earning the mean renter wage must work 52 hours per week to afford a two-bedroom rental unit at FMR.
What does the report tell us about Florida?
In our state, the FMR for a two-bedroom apartment is $995 (a $30 increase from last year). In order to afford this level of rent and utilities, without paying more than 30% of their income on housing, a Florida household must earn $39,804 annually.
A minimum wage worker in Florida, earning $7.79 per hour, must work 98 hours per week, 52 weeks per year to afford the FMR for a two-bedroom apartment.
What about Central Florida?
The report states that the FMR for a two-bedroom apartment in Central Florida is $983. In order to afford this level of rent and utilities, without paying more than 30% of their income on housing, a household in our area requires 2.4 minimum wage earners working 40 hours per week, year-round to afford the unit.
Out of Reach consistently demonstrates that large numbers of renters cannot afford the cost of living in the cities and towns where they work – including our own community!
Coalition for the Homeless, with your support, works to help homeless adults and families obtain the education, job skills, life skills, and other services they need to make a living wage and get back to independence!