Minimum wage vs hours, what’s needed to rent in Illinois

In Illinois, at $8.25/hour, a typical two-bedroom unit would require 91 hours of work–that’s equal to 2.3 full time jobs.  A one bedroom would take between 61 and 79 hours of work.  A renter wanting something nicer, say a two-bedroom apartment, rent & utilities of $1,000 needs to make $18.78/hour to keep it under 30% of their income according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.Affordable rent

What you would need to earn in every state to rent a decent Apartment.  Article by Ana Swanson Washington Post, June 9, 2015, via Chicago Tribune, June 9, 2015

If you’re living in a one-parent household making the $7.75 minimum wage in Hawaii, you would need to work 163 hours a week to comfortably make your rent payment on a two-bedroom apartment — giving you a luxurious five hours a week to sleep, eat or spend time with your family. To comfortably afford a decent two-bedroom home on a 40-hour work week, by contrast, you’d need to earn $31.61 an hour.

Affordable rent, cropped

Hours at minimum wage needed to afford rent   National Low Income Housing Coalition / Picture Courtesy Tribune/Washington Post

Illinois, by comparison, is a bargain, with minimum-wage renters getting a little more sleep and family time. A modest two-bedroom unit would require 91 hours of work a week at $8.25, or 2.3 full-time jobs that pay the minimum wage. Otherwise, a renter seeking a two-bedroom apartment with monthly rent and utilities of just under $1,000 a month will have to make $18.78 an hour if they don’t want to devote more than 30 percent of their income to housing and utilities.

The map here shows the hourly wage that a household needs to earn to afford a decent two-bedroom apartment in every state, plus Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. High hourly wages are necessary to afford decent housing in Washington, D.C. ($28.04), California ($26.65), New York ($25.67), New Jersey ($25.17), Massachusetts ($24.64) and other states.

This data comes from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, an advocacy group for affordable housing, which has published an extensive report comparing the cost of renting with wages in each state. The group defines housing affordability as paying less than 30 percent of your income to housing, a common standard for the industry, and it assumes a “fair market rent” as defined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development…….continued

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