It seems like every day there's another scary benchmark for how high the rents are here in Los Angeles. Here's the latest terrifying tidbit: In Los Angeles County, a renter would have to make more than $27 an hour or cram 3.4 full-time minimum wage earners into an apartment if they hope to afford a two-bedroom, says a new report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, via the LA Times. "Afford" here means that, if those people put 30 percent of their paychecks toward rent, it would not cover the cost of the average two-bedroom. (They could maybe swing it if they put half or even their whole check toward rent, but that would be a different sad story.) What's the deal? The NLIHC president blames the serious lack of affordable housing, estimating that "California is short one million affordable homes for working families." Because the supply is so small, the entire state's in a crisis. The average California minimum-wage worker (at $8 an hour) would have to put in about 18.5 hours a day, seven days a week (and every week of the year) to afford a two-bedroom apartment. In all, 61 percent of renters in California can't afford a two-bedroom apartment.
In July, California's minimum wage goes up to $9 an hour; in 2016, it'll be at a still-paltry $10. But will this help any? Probably not as much as anyone is hoping. The real issue is the lack of affordable housing more than it is the rate of the minimum wage, says the NLIHC.
· Out of Reach: 2013, California by Area [NLIHC]
· Los Angeles Has The Highest Percentage Of Renters In The US [Curbed LA]