What to Know
- The “Out of Reach” report released by the National Low Income Housing Coalition says NY state has the fourth highest "housing wage" in US
- Though minimum wage workers earn $10.40 an hour in the state, the average housing wage necessary in order to afford a two-bedroom is $30.03
- The most expensive state, overall, is Hawaii, where a worker needs to earn a minimum of $36.13 to afford rent for two-bedroom housing
It comes as no surprise that New York City’s housing market costs are high, but a new report reveals the level of unattainability when it comes to a minimum wage worker to be able to afford two-bedroom housing.
According to the “Out of Reach” report released by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the state of New York has the fourth highest “housing wage” in the country, with New York City being more expensive than any other place in the state.
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Though minimum wage workers earn $10.40 an hour in the state, the average housing wage necessary in order to afford two-bedroom housing is $30.03. However, in New York City, you need to earn $34.40 per hour to afford the fair market rates and not spend more than 30 percent of income on housing.
The report further breaks down the minimum a worker has to earn in order to afford other types of homes in the city. In the Big Apple, you need to earn $29.12 an hour to afford a studio, $29.96 an hour to afford a one-bedroom, $43.85 per hour to afford a three-bedroom and $46.87 an hour to afford a four-bedroom.
2018 Rental Housing Wages
The numbers below represent the hourly wage a household in each state must earn in order to afford to rent a two-bedroom property at the state's fair market rent for less of 30 percent of their income. Click on each state for more information on the mean income per state.
Data: National Low Income Housing Coalition
The earnings necessary are higher than the national average, which suggests the average needed is $22.10 per hour for a two-bedroom apartment and $17.90 for a one-bedroom. That number ranges from as low as $13.84 for an Arkansas two-bedroom all the way up to $36.13 in Hawaii.
The study reveals that the average minimum wage worker in New York would have to put in 99 hours each week just to afford a modest one bedroom rental home with a fair market rent.
The “Out of Reach” report determined that a full-time worker earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25 needs to work about 122 hours per week for all 52 weeks of the year (an equivalent of three full-time jobs) to afford a two-bedroom rental home at the national average fair market rent.
The same worker needs to work 99 hours per week for all 52 weeks of the year (an equivalent of two and a half full-time jobs) to afford a one-bedroom home at the national average fair market rent, the study says.
“In no state, metropolitan area, or county can a worker earning the federal minimum wage or prevailing state minimum wage afford a two-bedroom rental home at fair market rent by working a standard 40-hour week,” according to the report.
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Additionally, the study revealed that neighboring New Jersey has the seventh highest “housing wage” in the United States.
While the Garden State has a minimum wage of $8.60 an hour, $28.17 is needed to afford a two-bedroom home.
With the state’s minimum wage, a worker would have to put in 107 hours a week in order to afford a one-bedroom rental home.
The most expensive metropolitan area is found in the West Coast, as the study determined that the average worker in San Francisco would have to earn a minimum of $60.02 an hour to afford rent for two-bedroom housing within that city.
However, the most expensive state, overall, is Hawaii, where a worker needs to earn a minimum of $36.13 to afford rent for two-bedroom housing.