The economy's booming. Some states have raised minimum wages.
Meanwhile, Hawai'i's minimum wage is set at $10.10 per hour, with no future increases scheduled.
The disparity is starkest in major metropolitan areas. For a one-bedroom apartment, the NLIHC's report found you'd have to bring in $17.90 an hour.
"The housing crisis is growing, especially for the lowest-income workers", said Diane Yentel, president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Luckily, the average wage of a renter in Cuyahoga County is $15.38, further promoting Cleveland as " a very affordable, decent place to live".
Broken down into dollar amounts, to afford a two-bedroom in Georgia, a person must make $17.53 per hour, or have an annual income of $36,459.
Despite Idaho's rural character, the state isn't exempt from issues of housing affordability associated with more developed regions.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition released its 2018 "Out of Reach" report; it shows that the average Utah renter is paying 41% of their gross income on housing.
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"Some view that out rents are cheaper than (those) in Seattle, so therefore it's affordable to rent in Yakima", said Lowel Krueger, executive director of the Yakima Housing Authority, which provides housing assistance. "And it's just the mismatch between where rents are at in Central Ohio compared to where wages are".
Chittenden County now has a 1.7 percent vacancy rate. After 40 years, the Cleveland Tenants association folded due to a lack of funding, leaving low-income renters without an organization specifically working to educate tenants and landlords, empower the community, and advocate for affordable, fair, and quality rental housing. But this process, known as filtering, does not produce enough affordable rental homes to serve extremely low income renters. The number of homes renting for less than $800 declined by 2 percent. And downsizing to a one-bedroom pad barely helps.
Even a one-bedroom apartment at minimum wage would force a worker to supplement their income with a part-time job or extra hours to make the rent payment not exceed the standard budgetary guideline of 30 percent of total income. All of those counties are located in five states where the minimum wage is higher than the federal. San Francisco tops its list for requiring the highest hourly wage in the nation for renters to afford a two-bedroom unit.
Housing has gotten so expensive across the country, it's completely priced out the lowest earners. He said rent is typically higher during the spring and summer. Eric Thomas will have more on this study starting at 4 p.m. on ABC7 News. Cleveland is now undergoing a wave of new housing opportunities, many of which are geared as luxury living. The FMR price for a two-bedroom apartment in the area is $695 per month.
"Those rents can not support the kinds of renovations that are needed for our older housing stock", Mahnke said.
But with the low-wage workforce projected to grow over the next decade, particularly in service-sector jobs such as personal-care aides and food-preparation workers, without a concrete solution, the future isn't looking particularly bright. Over time, those properties will be demolished and replaced with new rental units that likely will be aimed at those who earn higher wages.