Minimum Wage Not Enough for Housing Anywhere in US

By Free Radical

Even raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, as many in this country have pushed to do, will still make housing unaffordable for most Americans.

Even raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, as many in this country have pushed to do, will still make housing unaffordable for most Americans.

There is no state in the country where a minimum wage income will pay for a modest two bedroom apartment. This is according to a new study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Even the national “Fight for 15” which advocates that the minimum wage be raised to $15 per hour across the US would not cover the costs of most apartments.

Arkansas has the cheapest housing in the country where someone would have to make $13.84 for a two bedroom apartment. However, the state’s minimum wage is only $8.50 per hour. In Hawaii, where housing is most expensive, a resident would have to make at least $36.13. Yet the state’s minimum wage is only $10.10 per hour.

The commonly held standard is that individuals should not spend more than 30% of their total income on housing. Of course, people actually spend more than this quite frequently. Consequently, they have to cut costs elsewhere in other critical areas such as health care, child care, and nutrition.

Whereas construction has somewhat rebounded since the Great Recession’s housing crisis, newer living quarters have been dominated by high-end developments. Poorer Americans have largely been priced out of these residential areas.

Radical critics have argued that this is the logical consequence of a housing market driven by capitalism where profit rather than human need is the deciding factor of the industry’s trajectory.

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