You need to earn nearly $29 an hour to afford a two-bedroom in Calif.
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By Ian Salisbury
May 26, 2016

With rents climbing ever higher, it’s getting harder and harder for Americans to afford comfortable living space — like a typical two-bedroom apartment.

This year the average American needs to earn $20.30 an hour — the equivalent of $40,600 a year, based on a typical 40-hour work week — to comfortably rent a two bedroom apartment, according to a new report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition. That’s up that’s up nearly 5% from 2015, when it was $19.35 an hour.

By contrast the average hourly wage in the U.S. rose 2.2% last year.

The NLIHC defined renters as “comfortably” affording an apartment when housing costs did not exceed 30% of their income.

To be sure, not all regions of the country are equal when it comes to housing costs. In California, it takes hourly earnings of $28.59 to comfortably afford a two-bedroom. In New York it’s $26.69. In Arkansas, however, you need to earn just $13.26.

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