According to a new report, a full-time, minimum-wage worker in 93% of U.S. counties cannot afford even a modest one-bedroom apartment.
And, according to the annual report released
Wednesday by The National Low-Income Housing Coalition, nowhere in the United States
can a person working a standard 40-hour workweek at the federal, state, or local minimum wage
afford a modest two-bedroom rental.
According to the group, someone can "afford" rent if they do not have to spend more than 30% of their income on housing.
Workers in the United States would need to earn $24.90 per hour to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment, or $20.40 per hour for a one-bedroom apartment, according to the report.
According to the report, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, and the average renter in the United States earns just $18.78 per hour.
Taking local minimum wage rates into account, the average minimum-wage worker would have to work nearly 97 hours per week (more than two full-time jobs
) to afford a modest two-bedroom rental, or 79 hours per week (nearly two full-time jobs) to afford a one-bedroom apartment.
“One full-time job should be enough,” the report says, urging the federal government to raise the minimum wage, increase rental assistance, fund the construction of more affordable housing, and strengthen renter protections.
Racial disparities abound in the midst of the affordable housing crisis
: more than 40% of Black
households spend more than 30% of their income on rent, compared to 25% of white households.
of color were more likely to have lost income as the COVID-19 pandemic
resulted in massive business
closures and job losses; by March 2021, 39% of white people had experienced a loss of household income, compared to 49% of Black and 58% of Latinx people, according to the US Census Bureau.
In response to the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
issued a nationwide eviction moratorium
in September, which is set to expire at the end of the month.
Meanwhile, more than 13 million renters told the U.S. Census Bureau in June that they had "slight" or "no" confidence in their ability to pay their July rent.