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  THE LOW INCOME & URBAN HOUSING BLOG  

Monday, January 4, 2016

Yes, Minimum Wage Employees Will Be Protesting Again in 2016 -- Here's Why

Minimum wage workers protesting

Just how bad has the housing crisis gotten? According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), "There is not a single state in the U.S. where a minimum wage employee working full-time can reasonably afford a one-bedroom apartment at the fair market rent."

What is affordability?

This statement is based on the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guideline of affordability as paying no more than 30 percent of one's income on rent. To stay within the 30 percent guideline, minimum-wage employees across the country would have to work anywhere from 48 to 98 hours per week, depending on the state, in order to afford today's prices on a one-bedroom apartment.

Does raising the minimum wage help?

Although many states have raised the minimum wage above the federal rate of $7.25 per hour, it takes much more than that to afford the rent. For example, the NLIHC reports that minimum-wage employees would need to make at least $15.50 per hour to afford a one-bedroom apartment at today's fair market rent, or $19.35 per hour to afford a two-bedroom unit.

Outlook dark

The fact that rents are rising higher than incomes, and affordable housing shortages continue to grow, the outlook on housing for minimum-wage families is dark indeed. It is clear to see that more housing is needed. As stated by NLIHC, "If the need for housing is not addressed, minimum-wage and low-wage workers will continue to compete for an increasingly limited supply of homes."

Read more at www.attn.com/stories/4920/united-states-minimum-wage-and-rent
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