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December 14, 2005
10 Most Expensive States for Renters

Workers in the United States need to earn $15.78 per hour to be able to afford a two-bedroom apartment without spending more than 30 percent of their wages on rent and utilities, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC). That's up from up from a "housing wage" of $15.37 an hour in 2004.

The organization's report, Out of Reach 2005, concludes that a family with two full-time workers would need to make much more than the federal minimum wage to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment and utilities without using more than 30 percent of their wages.

The organization uses 30 percent of wages as its affordability standard.

The organization says that a full-time worker earning minimum wage cannot afford a one-bedroom apartment anywhere in country, unless the worker paid more than 30 percent of wages toward rent.

The ten most expensive states for renters (with their housing wages) are:

  • Hawaii $22.30
  • California $22.09
  • Massachusetts $21.88
  • New Jersey $20.87
  • New York $19.73
  • Maryland $19.62
  • Connecticut $19.30
  • Rhode Island $18.42
  • New Hampshire $17.58
  • Alaska $17.40

San Francisco is the nation's most expensive city for renters, according to the report.

The organization bases its housing wage on the fair market rent, a Department of Housing and Urban Development estimate of what a household seeking a modest rental unit can expect to pay in the local private market for rent and utilities.

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