Report shows rent is not affordable for many Nevadans

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A housing report shows that affording rent in the United States is out of reach for a large group of Americans, including in Nevada which ranked 23rd for affordability.

This comes at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has placed an additional strain on low-income renters who may now be out of work and facing possible eviction.

According to the just released “2020 Out of Reach” report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a full-time minimum-wage worker can’t afford to rent a modest one-bedroom home in 95% of U.S. counties. In Clark County, 47% of total households are rentals. (Data was collected in the years from 2014 – 2018 for this percentage).

The report shows the average minimum wage in Nevada is $9 an hour and a worker would have to work 91 hours per week to afford a modest two-bedroom rental.

“In Nevada, the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,065. In order to afford this level of rent and utilities — without paying more than 30% of income on housing — a household must earn $3,549 monthly or $42,592 annually. Assuming a 40-hour work week, 52 weeks per year, this level of income translates into an hourly Housing Wage of $20.48.”

National Low Income Housing Coalition

According to the report, “As millions of households are now dealing with declines in wages – either through layoffs, furloughs, or decreased work hours – many more renters will struggle to afford their rents.”

The report also points out a recent survey done by the Pew Research Center that found 52% of lower-income households in America reported a loss of employment or income due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“That survey also found evidence of racial disparities in job and income loss: while 38% of white adults reported such a loss, 44% of Black adults and 61% of Latino adults did.

The report found the struggle for housing is not confined to minimum wage workers. “The average monthly fair market rent (nationwide) for a one-bedroom or two-bedroom rental home is $1,017 or $1,246, respectively – much higher than what many renters can afford.”

The report also lists the median wages for the largest occupations in Nevada and shows more than 400,000 Nevada workers making a median wage between $9.04 and $16.40 an hour which is below the $16.50 needed in Nevada to afford a modest one-bedroom rental.

The most affordable state for low-income renters was Arkansas and the least affordable was Hawaii, according to the report.

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