Most Americans Cannot Afford Even a Two-Bedroom Apartment

It is no secret that income disparity and wage stagnation continue to be huge problems for American citizens. As it currently stands, minimum wage does not cover rent in an overwhelming majority of the states within America.

According to a report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, it is impossible for any individual who works a full-time, minimum wage job to afford a decent two bedroom apartment. This includes states where minimum wage is as high as $15 per hour. However, even the current fight for a $15 minimum wage everywhere would still not cover the cost of rent.


Nationally, a worker needs to earn at least $17.60 to afford a one bedroom apartment and $22.10 for a two bedroom. Approximately 66% of the jobs in America pay less than $20 per hour, meaning that even individuals who make more than minimum wage are still struggling to pay rent.

The report is based on the concept that 30% of an individual's income should go towards housing.

Currently, the most expensive state is Hawaii, where an individual would need to earn an estimated $75,000 annually to afford a modest two bedroom apartment. In Arkansas, the state with the cheapest cost of living with regard to housing, an individual would still need to earn $13.84 per hour to afford a modest two bedroom apartment. The current minimum wage in Arkansas is $8.50

A one bedroom apartment is currently considered affordable for residents of just five states— Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington. In all of these states, minimum wage is at least $7.25, which is the current Federal minimum wage. If an individual making Federal minimum wage wanted to afford one of the modest two bedroom apartments, they would have to work 122 hours per week. All year long.

An increase in housing and rental costs has risen dramatically in the decade since the Great Recession.

According to Sen. Bernie Sanders, one of the contributors to the report, the situation is critical. "While the housing market may have recovered for many, we are nonetheless experiencing an affordable housing crisis, especially for very low-income families. In America today, nearly 11 million families pay more than half of their limited incomes toward rent and utilities. That leaves precious little for other essentials,” he said.

“In the richest country in history," he says, "no family should have to make the awful choice between food on the table and keeping a roof over their heads. This is America. We have the resources to solve the affordable housing crisis."”

As housing continues to remain unaffordable for the majority of Americans, the Trump Administration has made efforts to cut federally funded housing subsidies, while requiring that low income people work in order to receive funding assistance. Trump’s proposed cuts for the 2019 budget would "lead to the largest reduction in affordable housing and community development investments in decades," said the housing report.

Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

President Donald Trump has made 16,241 false statements and counting. With such a stream of falsehoods deployed daily upon the public, it's easy to imagine that fact-checkers are constantly exhausted.

The ones at Politifact don't seem fazed.

At a Wednesday night rally in New Jersey, President Donald Trump revived his long-sought and heretofore undelivered promise that Mexico would pay for the southern border wall—a pillar of Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

Keep reading...
Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Daily Front Row // Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

Former Republican Congressman and current host of MSNBC's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough, left the Republican party in July of 2017—around six months after the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

Since then, he's used his show to call out the President's (16,000+ and counting) lies—and Tuesday night was no different.

Keep reading...
Fox News

After weeks of enduring the impeachment trial against him in the Senate, President Donald Trump was likely grateful to be in a venue filled with people willing to praise him.

The President spoke at a rally in Wildwood, New Jersey, but at multiple points during the speech, his words got ahead of his thoughts.

At one point, Fox News—which was covering the event—decided to cut away, amid stifled laughter from the hosts.

Keep reading...
Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The United States, unlike North Korea and other nations President Donald Trump admires, does not have an official state media channel where the federal government can push propaganda.

But since his 2016 campaign, Trump has spoken as though he does have an official state media in Fox News.

Keep reading...
Leon Neal/Getty Images

Retired General John Kelly served as President Donald Trump's Chief of Staff until late 2018, and now he's siding against Trump on a crucial point.

Former National Security Advisor John Bolton's allegations in his upcoming memoir have rocked the impeachment trial in the Senate. Bolton claims Trump sought to withhold aid from Ukraine until it acquiesced to performing politically beneficial investigations for Trump's reelection bid.

Keep reading...

As calls continue to grow for former National Security Advisor John Bolton to testify before the Senate in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani is feeling left out.

Demands for Bolton's testimony skyrocketed among the public after allegations in his upcoming memoir that Trump sought to withhold Ukrainian aid as late as September to secure foreign investigations into Trump's political rivals.

Keep reading...