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Grays Harbor renters are at a disadvantage for affordable housing

April 28, 2014

In a report titled, Out of Reach, the National Low Income Housing Coalition looks at the hourly wage a full-time worker must earn to afford a decent two-bedroom rental home at HUD-estimated Fair Market Rent while spending no more than 30% of income on housing costs.

The one-bedroom Housing Wage also exceeds the federal minimum wage in each state. In fact, with the exception of a handful of counties in Washington and Oregon (where the state minimum wage is $9.32 and $9.10, respectively), there is no county in the U.S. where even a one-bedroom unit at FMR is affordable to a full-time minimum wage worker.

According to the NLIHC, a Grays Harbor resident needs to make at least $13.19 an hour to afford a “decent” two bedroom home while spending no more than 30% of their income on housing. By comparison, it would require an hourly wage of $10.21 to afford a one bedroom with the same requirements.

The report shows that the average rent for a two bedroom is $688 a month, requiring a yearly salary of $27,440, or 1.4 full time jobs at minimum wage.

According to their figures, the NLIHC shows that the average median income locally is $52,000. There are over 8,500 households rented within Grays Harbor, showing 31%. With a $9.67 average renter wage, the monthly rent affordable is $503 a month.

In Washington, a minimum wage worker earns $9.32 an hour. In order to afford a two bedroom apartment at Fair Market Rent, a minimum wage earner must work 80 hours per week, 52 weeks a year or have 2 minimum wage workers with full time jobs year round.

Statewide, the wage needed to afford a 2 bedroom home without spending more than 30% of your income on rent is $18.65, or $38,788.

In the United States, the 2014 two-bedroom Housing Wage is $18.92. This national average is more than two-and-a-half times the federal minimum wage, and 52% higher than it was in 2000. In no state can a full-time minimum wage worker afford a one-bedroom or a two-bedroom rental unit at Fair Market Rent.

More information at http://nlihc.org/oor/2014

Categories: Harbor News
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