Report: No rent on low wages
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.