The Kansas City Star: Nowhere in US can Minimum Wage Afford a ‘Fair Market Rent’ 2-Bedroom Home; Florida Among Worst States for Affordability

The Kansas City Star, July 15, 2021, Nowhere in US can Minimum Wage Afford a ‘Fair Market Rent’ 2-Bedroom Home; Florida Among Worst States for Affordability

For the second year in a row, a group studying the chasm between declining wages and soaring rents found that nowhere in the U.S. can a minimum-wage worker afford a two-bedroom apartment at the fair market rent.

In its signature Out of Reach report released this week, the National Low Income Housing Coalition determined that a full-time hourly worker would need to earn $24.90 an hour, more than three times the $7.25 federal minimum wage, in order to afford a $1,295-a-month rental home. That’s the average “fair market rent” in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“It keeps telling the same story,” said Anne Ray, manager of the data clearinghouse at the University of Florida’s Shimberg Center for Housing Studies. “Housing costs have really just come unhinged from wages for a lot of jobs and a lot of common jobs like retail, hospitality, customer service, in some early career teaching, pre-school, in part child care.

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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