Looking to rent a two-bedroom apartment in Charlotte? You’re going to need to make at least $17.44 per hour to afford it, according to a new report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
The coalition’s Out of Reach 2017 report looked at the gap between renters’ wages and the cost of rental housing. The study defines affordability as spending no more than 30 percent of your gross income on rent.
Housing wages, or what a renter would need to earn hourly to afford housing, varied widely across North Carolina, as expected. While you need to make just under $17.50 to afford a two-bedroom in the Queen City, renters in Raleigh need to earn $19.10 per hour, Wilmington renters $17.60, and Winston-Salem renters $14.48, according to the report.
In South Carolina, the highest average rent was in Beaufort County, with an average of $20.83. The average renter in Lancaster County would need to earn $18.88, and Columbia renters $16.85.
The average renter in North Carolina, who earns $14.14 per hour, could afford a rental that costs $735 per month, according to the report. However, fair market rent in Charlotte for a two-bedroom is $821, and a one bedroom's fair market rent is $683.
A minimum wage worker who earns $7.25 an hour can afford $377 per month in rent. That person would need to work 72 hours per week to afford a one-bedroom at fair market rent and 87 hours per week to afford a two-bedroom at fair market rent.
North Carolina, which required at least a $15.79 per hour wage to afford a two-bedroom, had the 34th highest housing wage in the nation, according to the report.
Hawaii had the highest housing wage at $35.20 per hour, and Arkansas had the lowest housing wage of the 50 states at $13.72 per hour.