On March 24, 2014, the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) released Out of Reach 2014, a report that each year demonstrates the increasing number of challenges faced by low-income renters to afford the cost of living in cities and towns across the nation.
The Housing Wage in Out of Reach captures the gap between wages and rents across the country, and is the estimate of the full-time hourly wage that a household must earn to afford a decent apartment at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimated Fair Market Rent (FMR), while spending no more than 30% of income on housing costs. The 2014 Housing Wage is $18.92, exceeding the $14.64 hourly wage earned by the average renter by $4.00 an hour, and greatly exceeding wages earned by low-income renter households.
The report demonstrates that while finding a decent, affordable apartment is a challenge for all renters, the poorest households are the most likely to be locked out of the market entirely. For every 100 extremely low income (ELI) renter households, there are just 31 affordable and available units. While ELI renter households may qualify for federal and local subsidy programs, housing assistance programs are oversubscribed and three-quarters of eligible households go unassisted. To close the gap between the demand for affordable housing and the supply, we need to add 4.4 million units affordable to ELI households.
View Out of Reach 2014
Learn more about TAC's Affordable Housing Work