Affordable housing remains a significant challenge for many Americans, especially when it comes to renting a two-bedroom apartment.
A recent study conducted by the National Low Income Housing Coalition revealed that the average hourly wage needed to afford a two-bedroom rental in the U.S. is $28.58, with a national average fair market rent of $1,486. This staggering cost places a substantial burden on low-wage workers who often struggle to afford even a one-bedroom rental, let alone a spare bedroom.
Within these six states, earning at least $30 an hour becomes essential to secure a two-bedroom apartment. These states exemplify the heightened housing affordability crisis, where the financial barrier to securing adequate rental accommodations is particularly challenging.
Here’s a look at six states where the struggle for affordable housing is most pronounced and where earning a higher wage is crucial to meet the demands of renting a two-bedroom apartment.
- Wage Needed for a Two-Bedroom: $42.25
- 2023 State Minimum Wage: $15.50
Living in the Golden State while affording a two-bedroom apartment while working minimum wage remains an elusive dream. Unfortunately, California requires the highest wage to afford a two-bedroom among the states on our list. If a spare bedroom is a priority, individuals often have to resort to sharing a room or exploring more affordable cities within the state.
- Wage Needed for a Two-Bedroom: $32.13
- 2023 State Minimum Wage: $13.65
Surrounded by picturesque mountain landscapes, living in Colorado sounds like an outdoor lover’s dream. However, affording a two-bedroom apartment on minimum wage presents a significant challenge. While the wage gap between the amount needed for a two-bedroom and the state’s minimum wage is smaller compared to other states on our list, it still places a substantial strain on one’s budget.
- Wage Needed for a Two-Bedroom: $30.59
- 2023 State Minimum Wage: $11.00
The Sunshine State offers plenty of fun and sunny experiences, but affording a two-bedroom apartment on minimum wage poses considerable difficulties. Florida exhibits a significant disparity between the state’s minimum wage and the amount required for a two-bedroom, leaving individuals earning around minimum wage struggling to afford larger living spaces.
- Wage Needed for a Two-Bedroom: $41.83
- 2023 State Minimum Wage: $12.00
Hawaii, renowned for its crystal-clear waters and abundant sea life, also features the widest gap between the state’s minimum wage and the wage needed for a two-bedroom apartment. The high cost of living makes it exceptionally challenging to secure a two-bedroom unit unless individuals earn more than three times the minimum wage.
- Wage Needed for a Two-Bedroom: $40.08
- 2023 State Minimum Wage: $15.00 (NYC, Long Island and Westchester) and $14.20 (remainder of the state)
In the bustling metropolis of New York, premium locations also translate into premium prices. Even with two adults working full-time jobs, those earning close to the minimum wage are likely to find themselves sharing a one-bedroom apartment, as the cost of renting a two-bedroom becomes unattainable.
- Wage Needed for a Two-Bedroom: $36.33
- 2023 State Minimum Wage: $15.74
The high cost of living on the west coast extends to Washington as well. In fact, even if two adults were to work full-time jobs on minimum wage, they would still struggle to afford a two-bedroom rental.
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