MARCH 26, 2014

High rents make housing unaffordable for many in Arizona

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In order to afford a modest, two-bedroom apartment at Fair Market Rent in Arizona, renters need to earn $17.52 per hour. This is Arizona’s 2014 Housing Wage, revealed in a report released today. The report, Out of Reach 2014, was jointly released by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a Washington, DC-based research and advocacy organization, and Arizona Housing Alliance, a statewide affordable housing coalition.

Every year, Out of Reach provides this figure, referred to as the Housing Wage, and other housing affordability data for every state, metropolitan area, combined non metropolitan area, and county in the country.

An estimated 53 percent of renters in Arizona do not earn enough to afford a two-bedroom unit at the Fair Market Rent.

“Hard working families, veterans, seniors, and people with disabilities should be able to pay for their home and still have enough left over to buy basics like groceries, gas, and child care,” said Arizona Housing Alliance Executive Director, Val Iverson.

Working at the minimum wage in Arizona, a family must have 2.2 wage earners working full-time, or one full-time earner working 89 hours per week, to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment.

The typical renter in Arizona earns $14.54 per hour, which is $2.98 less than the hourly wage needed to afford a modest unit.

“The strongest solutions to the affordable housing crisis are the State Housing Trust Fund and the National Housing Trust,” said Iverson. “Housing Trust Funds create jobs and homes where needed while supporting stronger families and healthier children.”

The national Housing Wage is $18.92 in 2014. This year, Arizona is the 19th most expensive state in the nation for renters.

The highest Housing Wage in Arizona is $19.63 in Coconino County followed by $18.40 for Maricopa and Mohave counties.

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