Charla Jackson Peter
(502) 564-7630, ext. 454
Kentucky’s Rents Rise While Wages Fall
The recent economic crisis has impacted all Americans and caused
prices to increase and wages to decrease. A family needs to earn $18.44
per hour, or nearly $38,360 a year, to afford a modest rental home in
the United States, according to the National Low Income Housing
Coalition’s Out of Reach 2010 report, released April 21, 2010.
Despite the recession, the report finds that rents continue to rise,
while wages continue to fall across the country. The estimated average
wage for renters in the United States this year is only $14.44, a
decline from $14.69 in 2009.
The amount a person working full-time must earn per hour to afford
Fair Market Rent (FMR) on a two-bedroom unit is known as the Housing
Wage, and the Out of Reach report calculates this wage for
every state, metropolitan area, non-metropolitan area, and county in the
country. The report also calculates how many hours someone must work
at the minimum and average renter wages in an area to afford typical
rents and provides local wage and income data for comparison purposes.
According to Out of Reach 2010, the national average for
two-bedroom FMR is $959 a month. Also, 74 percent of metropolitan
renters live in areas where two full-time jobs at minimum wage still
would not provide enough income to afford the two-bedroom FMR. For
those earning minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, the annual income is only
$15,080, and a household would have to work 102 hours each week to
afford the nation’s average FMR for a two-bedroom home. There is no
county in the United States in which a full-time minimum wage worker can
afford even a one-bedroom apartment at the FMR.
In Kentucky, a family must earn $12.19 per hour or $25,352 a year to
afford a modest rental home, while the average wage in Kentucky is
$10.91. To afford Kentucky’s FMR at the average wage, a renter must
work 45 hours per week, all year.
“While our housing wage is not as alarming as other states’, it
demonstrates the need for affordable rental housing,” said Richard L.
McQuady, chief executive officer of Kentucky Housing Corporation. “This
report illustrates the wide gap between what is needed and what is
Below are examples of required wages to afford a two-bedroom apartment at FMR in various counties in Kentucky:
Extensive data for every state, metropolitan area, and county in the
country are available on the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s Web
site, www.nlihc.org/oor2010/. Ranking tables and maps are also available, as is further analysis and explanation of the data.
Kentucky Housing Corporation - 1231 Louisville Road - Frankfort - Ky 40601-6191www.kyhousing.org
For more information, contact:
Kentucky Housing Corporation | 1231 Louisville Rd., Frankfort,
502-564-7630; 800-633-8896 (KY only); TTY 711