To Afford Rent, D.C.’s Minimum Wage Earners Must Work 137 Hours Per Week

Minimum wage-earners in the D.C. area continue to face an uphill battle for housing, needing to work the equivalent of about three full-time jobs to make rent on a two-bedroom home in D.C., Maryland and Virginia according to a new study released today by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Out of Reach is a report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
  • Renters in the District of Columbia need to work 137 hours per week at the minimum wage of $8.25 an hour to afford a Fair Market Rent of $1,469.
  • Renters in Maryland need to work 138 hours per week at a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour to afford a Fair Market Rent of $1,297.
  • Renters in Virginia need to work 115 hours per week at the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour to afford a Fair Market Rent of $1,088.

If the Fair Market Rent numbers seem lower than what most renters could expect to pay in D.C., it’s because they are. FMR represents the 40th percentile of gross rents for typical units — it is a measure used by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for housing-voucher programs. The study’s definition of affordability may also be different than that of a typical D.C. resident; it classifies “affordable” as no more than 30 percent of a household’s gross income.

To read the full article, visit WAMU.org.

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