Re­port: No rent on low wages

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By The Denver Post and wire re­ports

High hous­ing costs in Colorado and across the coun­try have been putting the pinch on renters and prospec­tive home buy­ers for some time.

Any talk of hous­ing, from gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials to de­vel­op­ers to landlords, touches on af­ford­abil­ity. A new study re­leased Wed­nes­day by the Na­tional Low In­come Hous­ing Coali­tion will only add more ur­gency to those dis­cus­sions.

The Wash­ing­ton Post breaks down the re­port like this: There is nowhere in the coun­try where some­one work­ing a full-time, min­i­mum-wage job could af­ford to rent a mod­est two-bed­room apart­ment. And a onebed­room is avail­able to those low-wage work­ers in only 22 coun­ties in five states: Colorado, Ari­zona, Cal­i­for­nia, Ore­gon and Wash­ing­ton.

The re­port by the coali­tion says that in Colorado, a worker needs to earn $23.93 an hour to af­ford a two-bed­room apart­ment, which the Fair Mar­ket Rent is $1,245 in the state. Fair Mar­ket Rent is Hous­ing and Ur­ban Devel­op­ment’s best es­ti­mate of what a house­hold seek­ing a mod­est rental home in a short amount of time can ex­pect to pay for rent and util­i­ties, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

The av­er­age wage for renters, who make up 36 per­cent of the hous­ing mar­ket, is $17.59 in Colorado. The state’s min­i­mum wage is $10.20.

Not sur­pris­ingly, moun­tain coun­ties such as Pitkin, Ea­gle, San Miguel and Sum­mit, with Boul­der as well, re­quire the high­est wages to live at the stan­dard set by the study.

Na­tion­wide, Colorado’s hous­ing wage was 11th high­est, with states such as Hawaii, Alaska, Cal­i­for­nia and New York re­quir­ing a higher in­come to af­ford ba­sic hous­ing.

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