NLIHC report: Rental costs continue to climb, renters struggle to find affordable housing MortgagePress.comNational Low Income Housing Coalition, Out of Reach report, hourly housing wage, Fair Market Rent, Sheila Crowley
The National Low Income Housing Coalition's (NLIHC) annual Out
of Reach report, released on April 14, provides data for every
state, metropolitan area and county in the country showing how much
a household must earn to afford a modest market-rate rental home.
The report also provides local wage and income data for comparison
According to the report, a person with a full-time job needs to
earn an hourly Housing Wage of $17.84 to afford a two-bedroom
rental home at the nation's average Fair Market Rent. This is the
hourly wage a full-time worker must earn in order to afford a
two-bedroom home at his or her community's Fair Market Rent
• In 2009, the estimated median wage for workers in
America is only $16.03.
• At the federal minimum wage of $6.55, a household would
have to work 109 hours each week to afford the nations average FMR
for a two-bedroom home.
• In no county in the U.S. can a full-time minimum wage
worker afford even a one-bedroom apartment at the FMR.
The statistics in Out of Reach show the disconnect between what
it costs to afford decent rental housing in the U.S. and what
low-wage employment actually pays. Even before the current
foreclosure and economic crises, renters with the lowest incomes
faced a shortage of homes they could afford. With more families
turning to the rental market and job losses numbering in the
millions, the struggle to find affordable housing has become even
"The longstanding structural deficit of rental homes that the
lowest income people can afford, exacerbated by the economic
recession, will surely lead to more people becoming homeless," said
Sheila Crowley, president of the National Low Income Housing
Coalition. "We hope that Out of Reach will demonstrate to policy
makers the urgency of acting now to increase the supply of
affordable housing and housing assistance for those who are hit
hardest by the recession."
Extensive data for every state, metropolitan area and county in
the country are available online, at www.nlihc.org/oor2009/.
Ranking tables and maps are also available at the website, as is
further analysis and explanation of the data.
For more information, visit www.nlihc.org.