Published: Fri, June 15, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Massachusetts Named One Of The Least Affordable States For Renters

Massachusetts Named One Of The Least Affordable States For Renters

There is nowhere in the United States where a person working a full-time minimum-wage job can afford a two-bedroom apartment, according to Out of Reach, an annual report on housing affordability and the gap between wages and rent.

In Hawaii, where housing costs the most, it would take hourly wages of $36.13 to rent a two-bedroom home.

An afternoon recap of the day's most important business news, delivered weekdays. That's especially true for Americans working minimum-wage jobs who rent a home. Six-figure salaries considered low income in some Bay Area countiesThat's according to a study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, an affordable housing advocacy group. The three occupations with the greatest projected growth that pay a median wage higher than the housing wage are general operations managers, software developers and registered nurses.

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The national housing wage for a modest one-bedroom apartment is $17.90, while the federal minimum wage is $7.25.

For the National Low Income Housing Coalition report, authors assumed people weren't spending more than a third of their pay on rent. And a one-bedroom is available to those low-wage workers in only 22 counties in five states: Colorado, Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington. The eight failing common means of employment like food preparation ($9.40), retail salesperson ($10.41), cashiers ($9.33), laborers and freight movers ($12.66), waiters ($9.45), office clerks ($14.42), janitors ($11.59) and stock clerks ($11.65) fall below what is necessary for someone to afford a modest two bedroom apartment. "The rents are far out of reach from what the average renter is earning".

"Even if you have two or three minimum-wage jobs, you're still not going to be able to make ends meet", said Tom Myers, executive director of Mountain View-based nonprofit Community Services Agency.

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Financial experts advise individuals should not spend more than 30 percent of his or her income on housing costs.

The cost of housing has steadily risen along with increased demand for rentals, yet new construction has trended toward the high-end market due to lofty development expenses, the findings said. Eric Thomas will have more on this study starting at 4 p.m. on ABC7 News. Bernie Sanders wrote in the report's preface.

Two condos for sale by the Champlain Housing Trust in the Colchester Ethan Allen complex, shown on the trust's website as examples of affordable housing available in VT. Even now, only one in four households eligible for federal rent assistance gets it. These programs have been chronically underfunded, and the Trump administration has proposed raising the rents of these affordable housing options.

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City officials have been considering the so-called Smart Housing Mix - a policy that would require developers to reserve some apartments in large complexes for low-income residents - for almost two years but have not finalized those plans.

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