The situation is as bleak as you’d fear … and getting worse
Even if you’re not in the market for a new home, you’re likely aware that the cost of owning and renting real estate in the United States is becoming prohibitively expensive for many middle-class Americans. However, more often than not, the data points come either anecdotally from friends or by way of very specific (city-wide or neighborhood-wide) searches.
A new graphic from the National Low Income Housing Coalition analyzed data and state-specific circumstances to show us how much a renter would need to earn (in the form of an hourly wage) to afford an “average” two-bedroom apartment in each of the 50 states.
National Low Income Housing Coalition
There’s little question that these figures are subjected to complicating outliers in the realms of rent control and more expensive urban environments, but they nonetheless speak to the general landscape well.
You’ll see that certain states belie their actual cost via the lack of a state income tax, making them more attractive in that regard.
The farther down the income bracket one resides, the more insurmountable these figures become. According to CityLab, the average U.S. renter earns an hourly income of about $16.38. Barring another household income, this precludes them from finding “average” housing in many states which house the majority of the U.S. population.
The inability to find reliable and suitable housing isn’t simply a personal issue. The widespread effects in the realm of crime, homelessness, and health care affect the bottom line and quality of life for all Americans. With demand for housing seemingly unrelenting, this is a problem that will get worse before it gets better, warranting our immediate attention.