Minimum wage doesn't pay the rent anywhere

An apartment construction site in Somerville

The report uses the minimum wage, mean renter wage, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development's definition of fair market rent.

A Vermonter making minimum wage would need to work 1.7 jobs to afford a one-bedroom rental home or apartment, according to a report released Wednesday.

The national average wage workers would need to earn in order to make rent payments on a two-bedroom apartment is $22.10 an hour, according to Out of Reach, an annual report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition that examines the shortfall between wages and the costs of renting. But even statewide, the amount you'd need to earn to afford a two-bedroom apartment, for example, is much lower than Seattle's: $26.20 an hour.

The average wage for renters, who make up 36 percent of the housing market, is $17.59 in Colorado.

Affordability is based on the federal standard that no more than 30 percent of a household's gross income should be spent on rent and utilities.

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Common wisdom says to spend no more than a quarter to a third of your wages on your housing.

The most expensive county in the state is Honolulu, where the "housing wage" is $39.06 per hour.

In Arkansas, where the housing is cheapest in the continental United States, it takes $13.84 an hour for a similar home. But that's still almost double the Arkansas minimum wage of $8.50.

In California, the gap is even greater.

That's three times the state minimum wage of 411.

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Hoover over each state to see how much you would need to earn to afford a modest apartment. The housing wage for a one-bedroom apartment there is $14.64. The city is one of many now buckling under rising housing costs, Seattle's having been propelled in part by the same corporations that fought against the tax.

Nationally, as the demand for rental housing has increased in the past decade, most rental housing being built is "geared largely toward the high end of the market, due to increasingly high development costs", according to the report.

The number of renters has increased by almost 10 million since 2005, but most new rental construction over the past ten years has been geared toward the high end of the rental market. Almost 11 million extremely low-income families pay more than half their incomes on rent.

Carson said the proposal would help address rising costs of providing housing assistance, which he said now helps only one in four families who qualify.

"This new national report confirms what we all know: Hawai'i is facing the worst affordable housing crisis in the country", said Gavin Thornton, co-director of the Hawai'i Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice.

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The authors also express concern that the Trump administration's decision to cut housing subsidies will exacerbate the problem.

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