Honolulu Workers Need $39 An Hour To Afford A 2-Bedroom Rental

An apartment construction site in Somerville

Using the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour and national and statewide data on rental prices, researchers found that the average worker would have to put in 122 hours per week to afford a two-bedroom apartment at the national fair market rent, an estimate the government updates every year, usually based on the 40th percentile of the gross rent of a given area.

City officials have been considering the so-called Smart Housing Mix - a policy that would require developers to reserve some apartments in large complexes for low-income residents - for almost two years but have not finalized those plans. Bernie Sanders of Vermont wrote in the report's preface. The three occupations with the greatest projected growth that pay a median wage higher than the housing wage are general operations managers, software developers and registered nurses. In the Oakland metropolitan area, which includes Alameda and Contra Costa counties, renters earn an average of $22 an hour - much more than Oakland's $13.23 minimum wage. As Cleveland continues to dig out of the housing crisis, it's important not just to look at the numbers from reports like the one from The National Low Income Housing Coalition, but also analyze and challenge the reasons why the numbers are what they are.

That's a 22 percent salary increase over what someone had to earn to pay for that same apartment a year ago. While these city developments are targeting new medical and corporate professionals moving to the area, Cleveland residents are still struggling to find affordable housing.

Trump's proposed cuts for the 2019 fiscal year, the NLIHC report says, would "lead to the largest reduction in affordable housing and community development investments in decades", taking "vital federal rental assistance" from 200,000 families.

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Vermont should appropriate more state funds to affordable housing by increasing rent subsidies from the Agency of Human Services, according to Mahnke. The report found that a Vermonter on Supplemental Social Security Income, for example, could only afford to pay $241 toward rent a month. The eight failing common means of employment like food preparation ($9.40), retail salesperson ($10.41), cashiers ($9.33), laborers and freight movers ($12.66), waiters ($9.45), office clerks ($14.42), janitors ($11.59) and stock clerks ($11.65) fall below what is necessary for someone to afford a modest two bedroom apartment. New units are expensive and occupied rapidly, according to Donnelly. Spend half of your wages or more, and you're deemed severely rent burdened. The housing wage for a one-bedroom apartment there is $14.64.

"The housing crisis has reached historic heights, most negatively impacting the lowest income renters", said Diane Yentel, the coalition's CEO".

Meanwhile, Hawai'i's minimum wage is set at $10.10 per hour, with no future increases scheduled. However, the report's authors cautioned against thinking that increasing minimum wage would be a "silver bullet solution".

Hawai'i has the highest "housing wage" in the country, at $36.13 per hour, according to a new national report released today, or over $75,000 per year. The minimum wage in Redwood City, though it will soon increase, is $11.

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