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The Hourly Wage Needed to Rent a 2-Bedroom Apartment Is Rising

A new report maps how much the average American has to earn to comfortably afford a modest rental in every U.S. state.
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National Low Income Housing Coalition

In 2015, the demand for rental apartments reached its highest level ever since the 1960s. The pinched access to mortgage credit after the Great Recession is one reason why. Another is that many Americans—especially the poor and people of color—haven’t felt the effects of the economic recovery, and may not be able to rustle up the funds for a down payment. A third reason is that Millennials, now the largest generation ever since the baby boomers, are especially loath to buy homes. The supply of rentals, especially at the lower end of the market, has been no match for the skyrocketing demand.

That means it’s getting harder and harder for average Americans to afford a modest rental in the U.S., a new report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition finds. “The lowest-income renters without housing assistance have always struggled to afford housing, but in recent years they have become even more squeezed as more households enter the rental market,” Andrew Aurand, the vice president of research at NLIHC, tells CityLab.