Industry NewsRentals

Wages lag behind rental rates

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Despite an increase last year in the federal minimum wage and the majority of states that offer a higher minimum wage, the rise of rental rates has outpaced the earnings of low-wage and moderate-wage workers, according to a report released today by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a national group that advocates for affordable housing. "The current mortgage crisis has awakened everyone to what low-income renters have known for a long time: Even modest homes are too costly for most low-income families," said Sheila Crowley, NLIHC president, in a statement. Crowley suggested that the affordability problem "will only get worse as the rental market is flooded with families displaced by foreclosure." The group's "Out of Reach" report, which compares wages and rents in county, metro areas and states, calculates the amount of money a household must earn in order to afford a rental unit ranging in size from a studio to a four-bedroom unit at...