Paying the Rent

Paying the Rent

In the depths of our current recession, more Americans are
finding themselves unable to make rent. It doesn’t help that a
full-time, minimum-wage worker cannot afford ‘fair market’ rental
housing anywhere in the U.S., according to the National Low Income
Housing Coalition (NLIHC).

ForLiP magazine, reporter Silja J.A. Talvi describes
the plight of Kristina Oskierko to demonstrate the challenges of
paying rent in a post 9/11 economy. A single mother, Oskierko was
laid off from her position at O’Hare airport, and now finds that
jobs are hard to come by and that wages are inadequate to cover
medical insurance and housing expenses.

Talvi points out that even workers who have steady employment still
may have trouble finding affordable housing amidst ‘soaring
national housing costs.’ According to NLIHC: ‘[I]n order to afford
the median fair market rent for a two-bedroom rental unit, a worker
would have to earn a housing wage of $13.87, or 269 percent of the
federal minimum wage.’ Housing wage is defined as the hourly rate a
full-time employee would have to earn so that rent would account
for no more than 30 percent of their income.

To solve the widening gap between rental costs and real wages, some
propose a low-rent bailout like the airline industry
–Sara V. Buckwitz
Go there>>

Out of Reach 2001: America’s Growing Wage-Rent

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