[URBANTH-L]NEWS: Out of Reach 2005 (on the demise of affordable housing in U.S. cities)

Angela Jancius acjancius at ysu.edu
Sun Dec 18 16:38:14 EST 2005

 News: Unsupportable Affordable Housing: Most Expensive Places To Live

A new report from the National Low-Income Housing Coalition shows just how
out of reach affordable housing can be. The National Low-Income Housing
Coalition came out with its aptly named index, Out of Reach 2005. It
calculates, according to the NLIHC, "the hourly wage that someone must
earn - working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year -- to be able to afford rent
and utilities in the private local housing market in every state,
metropolitan area and county in the country."

"The disparity between what people earn and what even modest rental housing
costs grows larger each year," said Sheila Crowley, President of NLIHC.
"This is the housing market in which millions of low wage workers and
elderly or disabled people must try to find safe and decent homes. Now tens
of thousands of displaced people from the Gulf Coast have joined them in
this competition for scarce housing that they can afford. And FEMA wonders
why evacuees are still in hotels."

With a housing-related fuel and utilities increase of more than 13% in the
last year responsible for much of the increase in renter housing costs, the
situation is grim. For the first time, NLIHC's data shows that a full-time
worker at minimum wage cannot afford a one-bedroom apartment anywhere in
country, further illustrating the dire situation that denies many a right to
adequate housing.

Out of Reach 2005 calculates the number of full-time wage earners a
household needs in order to afford the Fair Market Rent in any area of the
country. Nationally, a family with two full-time workers earning federal
minimum wage would make just $21,424, significantly less than the $32,822
annually they would need to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment.

The ten most expensive states for renters (with their Housing Wages) are:

Hawaii $22.30
California $22.09
Massachusetts $21.88
New Jersey $20.87
New York $19.73
Maryland $19.62
Connecticut $19.30
Rhode Island $18.42
New Hampshire $17.58
Alaska $17.40

San Francisco is the nation's most expensive city for renters, followed by
Stamford-Norwalk, CT, Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura (CA) and Orange County
Source: National Low Income Housing Coalition, Dec 14, 2005

Full Story: NLIHC: Out of Reach 2005

NLIHC: Least Affordable Places to Live (PDF, 100KB, 1 page)

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