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The 129-hour work week: How to afford a 2-bedroom apartment in California

NATIONAL LOW INCOME HOUSING COALITION // OUT OF REACH 2013

Screenshot via NATIONAL LOW INCOME HOUSING COALITION // OUT OF REACH 2013

2013 TWO-BEDROOM RENTAL UNIT HOUSING WAGE: Represents the hourly wage that a household must earn (working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year) in order to afford the Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom unit, without paying more than 30% of their income.

California has been named one of least affordable places to live in the country, according to a report released this week by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

In real world action, the figures in the study take the following unpleasant shape — renting a two-bedroom apartment in California, while making minimum wage, would require an individual to work nearly 130 hours per week.

Perhaps some cold comfort for sunny CA is that, according to the recent Out of Reach analysis, "in no state can a minimum wage worker afford a two bedroom unit at Fair Market Rent, working a standard 40-hour work week, without paying more than 30% of their income."

In California, the "fair market rent" for a two-bedroom apartment has been calculated as $1,341, and minimum wage is $8.00 per hour. To afford a two-bedroom apartment while earning minimum wage:

1 person would have to work —

  • 129 hours per week
  • 52 weeks per year

OR

3.2 people could work —

  • 40 hours per week 
  • 52 weeks per year

More sadmaking study stats here.

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