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In North Texas, You Need To Earn $21-$23 An Hour To Afford An Apartment

Associated Press

Full-time workers in North Texas and across the country still struggle to afford housing, a new report says.

A worker in Dallas would need to earn $23.10 an hour to afford a two-bedroom fair market rent of $1,201, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition's 2019 report

In the Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area, where rents are less expensive, a worker would need to earn $20.54 an hour in order to afford a two-bedroom rental of $1,068.

With Texas’ minimum wage at $7.25 an hour, that means a household in Dallas would need to include 3.2 minimum-wage earners in order to afford a two-bedroom rental. Households in Fort Worth-Arlington would need 2.8 minimum-wage earners.

A worker earning minimum wage in Texas would have to work 91 hours or more a week just to afford a one-bedroom apartment, according to the coalition's report. Texas' minimum wage matches the national minimum wage, which hasn’t changed since 2009.

The coalition's report lays out the numbers for every state in the country, plus the District of Columbia. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the coalition's report.

On average, a full-time worker in Texas need to earn a little over $20 an hour to afford a two-bedroom rental. Nationally, it's almost $23 an hour.

The coalition says median-wage full-time workers in eight of the nation’s 10 largest occupations do not earn enough to afford a modest one-bedroom rental home. Those jobs include retail, home healthcare and fast food work.

Affordable housing isn’t just an issue for minimum-wage workers in Texas. Full-time minimum wage workers can’t afford a one-bedroom rental home in 99% of counties in the country, according to Diane Yentel, coalition president and CEO.

“Our rental housing needs have worsened considerably over the past 30 years, leaving housing out of reach for millions of low-wage workers," Yentel said in a statement. "But members of Congress are starting to take note."