Virtually no housing for low-wage earners
This year, for the first time in the 16 years the [National Low Income Housing Coalition] has determined that there is no place in the country where a full-time worker earning minimum wage can afford to rent even a one-bedroom apartment at fair market rent.
The report shows that this year's national housing wage - the hourly wage a full-time worker needs to earn in order to cover the rent with no more than 30 percent of his or her income - is $15.78 an hour. That's up from $15.37 an hour in 2004 and is more than three times the federal minimum wage of $5.15 an hour.
The communications director for Housing California, a leading statewide housing advocacy group, said the vast majority of housing being built in the Sacramento region is for purchase, not for rent. While classified sections fill with "for sale" ads, Bender said, some 38 percent of the region's residents need to rent. Many of them can't find any place they can afford. The market is penalizing hairdressers and grocery clerks and garbage collectors who don't make enough to buy, Bender said.
The housing wage computed by the National Low Income Housing Coalition is the hourly wage a full-time worker needs to earn in order to cover the rent with no more than 30 percent of his or her income. To use the rent/wage calculator, go here.