Affordable Housing, Community Development, Homelessness, State News

CT Rental Costs Continue to be Out of Reach for Many Residents

National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC)

The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) has released their annual Out of Reach report that explores the affordability of apartments across America. The results revealed that the rental market remains expensive for many Americans, who on average need to earn $20.30 per hour to afford a modest and safe two-bedroom apartment. This hourly wage, known as the “housing wage,” is significantly higher than the federal minimum wage, which is only $7.25 per hour.

In Connecticut, the housing wage for a two-bedroom apartment in 2016 is $24.72 an hour, eight highest in the country. By comparison, the state’s minimum wage is $9.60 per hour and the average worker earns $16.21. Residents earning minimum wage in the Nutmeg state would need to work 82 hours per week to rent a one-bedroom apartment or 103 hours a week to earn enough to afford a two-bedroom apartment. Workers earning the average wage cannot afford an apartment that costs more than $850 per month, while the average one-bedroom apartment in Connecticut costs more than $1,000.

In addition to the state’s high housing wage, Connecticut has two of the nation’s most expensive metro areas: the Stamford –Norwalk metro area comes in at 5th highest with a housing wage of $37.15/hour and the Danbury metro area ranks 6th highest with a housing wage of $34.13/hour. Connecticut’s combined non-metro areas ranked 4th in that category at $19.93/hour.

To address the crisis of high housing costs in the rental market, the report recommends increasing the minimum wage as well as funding for the National Housing Trust Fund, which provides money to construct and rehabilitate apartments that are affordable for low income households.

Click here to view the full report. 


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