Housing Costs Increasingly Out of Reach

Dave Norris writes:

Every year around this time, the National Low Income Housing Coalition releases a report called Out of Reach, which analyzes housing costs vs. wage levels in communities all across the U.S. The report focuses on a statistic they call the “Housing Wage,” which is the amount of money that a worker has to earn in order to afford an average two-bedroom rental unit in his/her community.

Well, Out of Reach 2006 was released today. And the 2006 Housing Wage for the Charlottesville area has been calculated at…(drum roll please)…$15.23. Know many retail or service jobs around here that are paying that much?

The good news is that somebody can pay their rent here with a minimum wage job. They just need to work five days a week, 52 weeks a year, for 23.6 hours per day in order to make the necessary $31,680/year. And they’d be wise to get a job for the remaining 24 minutes each day, so they can start saving for their next rent increase.

Presumably the Charlottesville Chamber of Commerce will drop their opposition to a living wage now. I kid, of course: they have their head so far up their collective ass that, last month, they shot down a program envisioned by members of their own leadership program that would have acknowledged those local businesses that choose to pay their employees a living wage. The Chamber, you’ll recall, is opposed to any minimum wage; they think our existing minimum wage is just too darned high. Let’s put their staff on minimum wage and see how long that lasts.

53 Responses to “Housing Costs Increasingly Out of Reach”

Comments are currently closed.