The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) has released its annual Out of Reach report for 2019. The report explores the affordability of rental housing across the United States. The results reveal the large gaps between the cost of rental housing and wages in Connecticut, and across the country.
The average American needs to earn $22.96 per hour, working 40 hours a week, to afford a modest two-bedroom rental home. This hourly wage, known as the “housing wage” (which has increased from the 2018 housing wage of $22.10), is over three times more than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour (unchanged since 2010).
Connecticut has the 9th highest housing wage in the country, at $25.40 per hour (a 50-cent increase from last year’s $24.90 per hour). Connecticut’s housing wage is over double the state’s minimum wage of $10.10, and almost $8.00 more than Connecticut’s average renter wage of $17.53. This means that a Connecticut resident making minimum wage would need to work 101 hour each week to afford a two-bedroom rental home.
The state’s five most expensive metropolitan areas are:
- Stamford–Norwalk, CT HUD metro Fair Market Rent (FMR) area ($36.25 per hour housing wage);
- Danbury, CT HUD metro FMR area ($30.44 per hour housing wage);
- Southern Middlesex County, CT HUD metro FMR area ($27.44 per hour housing wage);
- New Haven-Meriden, CT HUD metro FMR area ($26.98 per hour housing wage); and
- Milford-Ansonia-Seymour, CT HUD metro FMR area ($26.40 per hour housing wage).
NLIHC’s Out of Reach 2019 is available here.