The report, released this week, shows that housing costs continue to outpace wages for low-income renters.
Someone earning minimum wage would have to work 103 hours a week to afford a two-bedroom apartment in Charlotte, according to a new study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition. The minimum wage in Arkansas is $8.50 an hour.
About a third of households in Charlotte are cost-burdened, and the biggest shortage is for people making 50 percent or less of the area's median income - roughly $36,000 or below. According to the new report, minimum wage workers in Washington have to work 93 hours a week to afford a two-bedroom home. Maui County's housing wage was calculated to be $31.13.
That's three times the state minimum wage of 411.
A new national study says Honolulu residents must earn at least $39.06 an hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment at fair market rent without spending more than 30 percent of their income on rent.
In Massachusetts, renters would need to make $23.15 an hour to afford a one-bedroom, the report said.
Massachusetts, where the minimum wage is $11 an hour, ranks as the sixth most expensive state, with a wage of $28.64 needed to afford a two-bedroom apartment ($59,571 a year). The hourly wage necessary to afford a two-bedroom unit in Hawaii County is $25.42.
Downsizing to a one-bedroom apartment will only help so much.
The report recommends federal investments in programs like public housing, vouchers, and rental assistance. Bernie Sanders of Vermont wrote in the report's preface.
"In America today, almost 11 million families pay more than half of their limited incomes toward rent and utilities", Sanders writes. "That leaves precious little for other essentials". One would need to earn $13.84 an hour - about $29,000 a year - to afford a two-bedroom apartment there. "The administration's cruel and shortsighted proposals to cut housing benefits would add to the struggles of millions".
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. During the same time, the number of homes renting for less than $800 declined by 2%.
Any talk of housing, from government officials to developers to landlords, touches on affordability. It's hard to praise Cleveland for its affordability when there are an average of 12 evictions every single day and an enormous waiting list for housing vouchers through CMHA. But this process, known as filtering, does not produce enough affordable rental homes to serve extremely low income renters. Luckily, the average wage of a renter in Cuyahoga County is $15.38, further promoting Cleveland as " a very affordable, decent place to live". Predictably, the statewide figures are lower if you only look at non-metro areas.
"Absent public subsidy", the report reads, "the private market fails to provide sufficient housing affordable to the lowest income households".