A new report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition is highlighting how much hourly workers need to earn to afford a typical, two-bedroom rental in every state.
Minnesota isn’t among the most expensive nationally – 21st overall – with state workers needing to earn $18.60-an-hour to afford such a rental home, but it is among the most expensive in the Midwest with only Illinois dearer at $20.87.
Minnesota’s minimum wage is currently $9.50-an-hour, meaning that affording an average 2-bedroom rental (ie. not spending more than 30 percent of your income on rent) requires two members of the household to work minimum wage, full-time jobs.
Nationally, the most expensive place to rent a 2-bedroom place is Hawaii, where a $35.20 hourly wage is required, followed by Washington D.C. ($33.58) and California ($30.92). The cheapest state is Arkansas at $13.72.
The housing coalition’s Out of Reach study found that the average cost of a 2-bedroom rental in Minnesota is $967-a-month. In order to afford this, the combined annual income of your household needs to be $38,697 annually, the report states.
Minnesota’s median income is currently around the $63,000-mark, but there are significant disparities between high and low earners particularly when drawn along racial lines, with black Minnesotans earning a median income of just over $30,000, less than half what median white earners make.
The cost also varies skewed depending on where you live, with the Twin Cities obviously more expensive. The report says that the Twin Cities metro requires an hourly wage of $20.88 to afford a 2-bedroom place.
And it’s more difficult for minimum wage earners who live alone, with the study finding that they would need to work 62 hours a week in order to afford a 1-bedroom apartment.
These figures are significant particularly in Minneapolis given that the cost of affordable rent still exceeds the $15 minimum wage that the city is considering implementing over the next five years.
The study found that there are only 12 counties in the entire country where a single person earning minimum wage could afford a one-bedroom home.