The Challenge of Meeting Basic Needs – A Peek at Housing


A stunning new report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition lets you easily see what salary would allow you to rent a two-bedroom home in your state.  The bottom line: In even the most affordable states, it takes the combined earnings of two minimum wage earners to rent affordable housing for their family.

What’s the State of Your State?

In 28 states, you would have to earn more than $20 per hour, or $41,600 per year, at your full-time job in order to afford a two-bedroom rental.  In 16 states, you would have to earn $15 per hour, or $31,200 per year.  In six states, you would be able to afford your 2-bedroom home if you earned less than $15/hour.

Who’s Earning What?

This report is even more shocking when you consider what people are actually earning. The U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent analysis shows that 34% of full-time earners make less than $35,000 per year.

We hear a lot about raising the minimum wage, but today the highest in the nation is $12.50 per hour, or about $26,000 per year.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

girl on swing in operation warm coatLet’s look at an example from each of the “affordability levels” in this report, in order of affordability.

#48 – Among the most affordable rental housing is Kentucky, where a wage of $14.40 per hour, or $29,952 per year annual salary, would allow you to rent a two bedroom home.  But with a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, two wage earners would have to both provide $7.25 per hour income to meet that $14.40 per hour need.

#30 – About in the middle of affordability, but with a $7.25 minimum wage, two wage earners together would still fall far short of being able to afford a two bedroom home.

#8 – Among the highest state rental costs, Washington’s residents need to earn $26.87 per hour, or $55,900 per year, to afford their two bedroom homes.  With a minimum wage of $11.50 per hour, even two wage earners together would fall 15% short of renting a two-bedroom home.

Being Part of the Solution

We can’t solve every problem, but we can help to provide basic needs for families struggling to afford housing, food and clothing.  Operation Warm’s brand new winter coats are not only a financial gift to families, but they provide warmth, confidence and hope to the children who receive them.  Join us! Visit today!


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