Industry News

Housing grows more costly for U.S. families

Full-time worker needs to earn $15.37 an hour to afford 2-bedroom rental

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As housing costs continue to increase faster than wages, millions of working families will spend the holidays struggling to pay for their homes, while many others will bring in the New Year without a home at all, according to a new report released Monday by the National Low Income Housing Coalition. The report, "Out of Reach: 2004," finds that the national Housing Wage for 2004 is $15.37 an hour, or $31,970 a year, almost three times the federal minimum wage. The housing wage represents the amount a full-time worker must earn to be able to afford the rent for a modest two-bedroom home while paying no more than 30 percent of income for housing. The national housing wage for 2003 was $15.21 an hour, or $31,637 a year, according to NLIHC's "Out of Reach: 2003." "Out of Reach" calculates the Housing Wage for every state, region and county in the U.S. and reports that in no community, city, county or state is housing affordable to low-wage workers. Other findings include: Families with ex...