Political & Media Commentary

Minimum wage can’t pay for a 2-bedroom apartment anywhere in America


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Minimum wage can’t pay for a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the United States, according to a report released by the National Low Income Housing Coalition on Wednesday.

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Only six states in the country where the hourly wage required to afford a two-bedroom rental home is less than $15.00, according to the report. These states include: South Dakota, West Virginia, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas.

Massachusetts has the sixth highest housing wage with an average earning of $28.64 per hour to afford a two-bedroom. The report stated if a resident was earning minimum wage at $11.00 per hour, they would be required to work 104 hours per week in order to afford the average two-bedroom.

In Boston alone, residents have to make more than $20.00 per hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment.

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In East Boston, which has a nearly 20 percent poverty rate and where rents are known as “more affordable,” residents must earn $29.23 per hour for a two-bedroom and $23.65 per hour for a one-bedroom, according to the report.

Just across the water in the North End neighborhood, also known as Boston’s “Little Italy,” residents must make nearly double of East Boston residents with an hourly wage of $50.19 for a two-bedroom or $40.96 for a one-bedroom.

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Arkansas, the state known for the cheapest housing in the country, has a minimum hourly wage of $8.50. But a resident of Arkansas would have to earn $13.84 per hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment there, or work 65 hours per week, earning minimum wage, according to statistics in the report.

Hawaii, the state with the most expensive housing, a resident would have to make an hourly minimum wage of $36.13, which is about $75,000 per year. If working off of a minimum wage, which is $10.10 in this state, residents in Hawaii would have to work 143 hours per week, according to the report.

In Hawaii, the state with the most expensive housing, one would have to make $36.13 — about $75,000 a year — to afford a decent two-bedroom apartment. The minimum wage in Hawaii rose to $10.10 an hour this year, according to the report.

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