National Low Income Housing Coalition
Atlanta might be one of the nation’s “most affordable big cities,” but Georgia as a whole is still far from inexpensive for people living on minimum wage, according to a new study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
The analysis, dubbed “Out of Reach 2018,” suggests that workers earning minimum wage ($7.25 an hour in Georgia) would need to clock in for nearly 100 hours each week to rent a decent two-bedroom in the state.
Others would need to make $17.53 per hour, if they want to work a normal business week, in order to rent the same two-bedroom unit. The average renter in Georgia, according to the study, makes about $16 an hour.
The national mean wage needed to afford a two-bed is $22.10, essentially proving—according to NLIHC—the minimum wage is not high enough to keep low-income Americans afloat.
In Georgia, an affordable rent price for a low-income household was clocked at $377 per month (good luck finding that intown). For households bringing home 30 percent of their respective area median income, writing a monthly check for $491 is affordable.
Not surprisingly, the fair market rent prices in Georgia are quite a bit higher than what minimum wage workers can afford. One- and two-bedroom rents are supposedly $778 and $911, respectively, per NLIHC’s research.
Obviously, Atlanta’s rent prices vastly outweigh the norm for the rest of the state.
In the 30303 zip code, which includes most of downtown Atlanta, the so-called “two-bedroom housing wage” is $19.81 an hour. The fair market rent rate for one of those is roughly $1,000.
In the spring, HotPads released data that showed Atlanta’s rent price increases are outpacing those of the most competitive markets, such as San Francisco’s.
With Atlanta’s perpetual placement on the nationwide list of cities with income inequality issues, the future looks grim for non-high-earners seeking nice rentals intown—and even out of town, apparently.