Speed Reads

Apartment hunting

No one in America can afford a 2-bedroom apartment on minimum wage

As if apartment-hunting wasn't already hard enough.

The low minimum wage in cities across America has made it almost impossible for workers to find a decent place to call home, data released Wednesday by the National Low Income Housing Coalition found. Full-time minimum wage workers can't afford a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the U.S., the group found, whether they're making the $8.50-an-hour wage in cheaper Arkansas or the $11 wage in expensive California.

It only gets more depressing from there: CityLab reports that there are only 22 counties in the U.S. where people working 40-hour weeks at minimum wage can afford even a one-bedroom apartment.

This may seem like an issue solely for the poor, but the future of renting is looking grim for everyone. "The rents are far out of reach from what the average renter is earning," said Diane Yentel, the president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. This is painfully clear when you look across the states and see what hypothetical wage would enable a renter to afford rent: Even in Arkansas, the state where housing is cheapest in the country, a worker would need to earn at least $13.84 an hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment — more than $5 more than the current hourly wage floor.

With the Trump administration having proposed huge cuts to subsidized housing, and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson supporting a bill to raise rent on households receiving housing assistance by 20 percent, the only thing looking up is that rent bill every month. You can read more at CityLab.