Renting Around the U.S.: Is It Affordable?
Renting an apartment or a house is a common way of life for millions of people around the United States. It is a convenient choice for those who move frequently due to work or personal reasons. However, rental costs can vary significantly depending on location and quality. In this article, we will explore the hourly income one needs to afford rent around the U.S.
The National Average
A recent study conducted by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) found that the average renter in the United States has to earn at least $24.90 per hour to afford a two-bedroom rental home at the fair market rate. This means a renter has to work at least 122 hours per week to afford rent, leaving insufficient time for other expenses. The study also found that the hourly wage required to afford a one-bedroom apartment is $20.40.
The study also highlighted the hourly wage a renter needs to earn to afford rent in some of the biggest cities in the U.S. In San Francisco, for instance, a renter needs to earn $60 per hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment. New York is not behind, requiring an hourly wage of $54.50 for the same type of apartment.
In Los Angeles, one needs an hourly wage of $47 to afford a two-bedroom rental home. Washington D.C. comes close with a required hourly wage of $42.80. In Chicago and Boston, the hourly wage needed for a two-bedroom is $35 and $39.70, respectively.
From the analysis, it is clear that rental affordability varies across the U.S. Some cities’ rents are more affordable than others. But for the most part, renting a house or an apartment can put a significant strain on one’s income. Hence, it’s essential to find ways to cut costs like seeking out government housing assistance programs.
In conclusion, the hourly wages indicated in the NLIHC study may come as a surprise to many. However, the data serves as a reminder of the financial challenges renters face, and policymakers need to create incentives for affordable housing in big cities and elsewhere in the country.