29th August, 2016
Are Affordable Philadelphia Rentals Disappearing?

Renting an apartment in Philadelphia is becoming very difficult for those who make less than $23.27 per hour, according to the 2016 Out of Reach report, issued by the National Low Incoming Housing Coalition (NLIHC).  The purpose of NLIHC, which was established in 1974, is to both educate and affect public policy such as raising the minimum wage in counties across the U.S.  In addition, the Out of Reach report was designed to showcase the “…affordability gap between the cost of rental housing and the wages of millions of renters who do not earn enough to afford a decent and safe home without significant sacrifice. Low income renters face the greatest challenge.”

At Post Brothers, we offer Philadelphia apartments in all price ranges — from affordable luxury multi-bedroom apartments and penthouse apartments to starter studio apartments for students on a budget.

The NLIHC report finds that in order for minimum wage workers in Philadelphia county to make the kind of money needed to comfortably pay rent on a two-bedroom apartment, they would have to work 101 hours per week.  That is approximately $3167.00 per month and $38,000 per year.  The average rental price per month for a two-bedroom is $1,210 which puts Pennsylvania 20th in the nation for rental costs.

This is a problem.  The minimum wage is currently set at $7.25 in Pennsylvania.   This means that minimum wage earners would have to work 2.5 jobs to afford their housing.

The report finds that today, there is a shortage of 7.2 million affordable housing units for the nation’s more than 10 million extremely low-income families. The report also notes, “Last year, rising rents in a number of cities outpaced the rate of inflation, which is hurting low- and moderate income Americans.”

Out of 580,297 households in Philadelphia County, approximately 47 percent are renters, according to a recent article in the Philadelphia Metro.  In addition, the article reports that this issue is nation-wide:  “In no state, metropolitan area or county can a full-time worker earning the prevailing minimum wage afford a modest two-bedroom apartment.”

The most expensive state in the nation is Hawaii and the most expensive city is San Francisco, finds the NLIHC report.  New York comes in fourth in the list of expensive states.  For each of these states/cities, renters need to earn approximately $33.20 to $44.02 per month to adequately afford apartments.  In yearly wages, in order to afford the $44.02 price, workers must take home $4,955 monthly or $59,464 annually. 

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