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 one-bedroom 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, while 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.
To get the $23.93 hourly wage figure, the report factors housing costs as 30 percent of income, thus a household must earn $4,148 monthly or $49,780 annually. To get that annual income based on a 40-hour work week, 52 weeks a year, you need to earn $23.93 an hour. Colorado’s minimum wage is $10.20.
The average wage for renters, who make up 36 percent of the housing market, is $17.59 in Colorado.
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. Pitkin’s housing wage is $33.40, which is the highest in the state. The lowest housing wage was $13.40 in multiple rural counties, including Baca, Conejos, Dolores, Kit Carson, Prowers, Rio Grande, Saguache, Washington and Yuma.
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.
“The housing crisis is growing, especially for the lowest-income workers,” Diane Yentel, president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, told The Washington Post. “The rents are far out of reach from what the average renter is earning.”
To read the full report, go here
Source:: The Denver Post – News