Out of Reach in NoVA

The National Low Income Housing Coalition has released Out of Reach 2017, their annual report on the state of affordable rental housing in America, and its conclusions are dire. Millions of Americans struggle to find housing that is affordable on their salaries, and in no state can a person working full-time earning the federal minimum wage afford a two-bedroom apartment at the fair market rent.

Virginia has the 11th highest housing wage in the country and the chart below illustrates that the picture is worse in Northern Virginia. These are the realities faced by thousands of households with jobs that don’t pay enough to afford housing, for the elderly on fixed incomes, or for those who have disabilities and are unable to work. Approximately 34% of the 964,000 households in NoVA are renters.

Hourly Housing Wage Needed $33.58
Average Fair Market Rent for 2-bedroom apt $1,746
Annual Income Needed $69,840
Federal Minimum Wage $7.25
Work Hours/Week Minimum Wage 185 hrs
Mean Renter Wage $23.30
Work Hours/Week Mean Renter Wage 58 hrs
 30% of area median income $33,090
Rent affordable at 30% AMI $827
Supplemental Security Income Payment $735

 

Why does this matter?

  • We all benefit when employees working in our community have opportunities to live in our community;
  • Local businesses are more likely to recruit and retain employees when there are housing options at all price points near job centers;
  • Housing affordability impacts people at all ages and stages of life, and our regional economy is enhanced when there are different housing types and price points to provide housing opportunities for all.