According to a report titled “Out of Reach,” issued last week from the National Low Income Housing Coalition,
In no state, metropolitan area or county in the United States can a full-time worker earning the prevailing minimum wage afford a modest two-bedroom apartment.
In order to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment at fair-market rent, a full-time worker in America today must earn $20.30 per hour—a figure that is almost $5 more than the average hourly wage of renters in the United States. A full-time worker needs to earn $16.35 per hour to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment.
In Illinois (where the minimum wage is $8.25 an hour or $429 a month, and the average renter wage is $15.25 an hour or $793 a month), the fair-market rent for a two-bedroom apartment, at $1,039 a month, is out of the reach of both minimum-wage workers and workers earning the average wage for renters.
Finally, consider this: a worker earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour would need to work 2.8 full-time jobs, or approximately 112 hours per week for all 52 weeks of the year, in order to afford a two-bedroom apartment at HUD’s Fair Market Rent.
If this worker slept eight hours a night, they would have no remaining time during the week for anything other than working and sleeping.