Minimum wage earners in Louisiana must work 74 hours a week just to afford a one-bedroom rental, study says

Red and white "House for Rent" sign in front of a stone, wood house that is a rental property. iStock photo

If you’re earning minimum wage in Louisiana, you have to work 74 hours a week just to afford “a modest one-bedroom” rental at current fair market rates, according to new study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

The “Out of Reach 2017” study explores the gap between renters’ wages and the average cost of rental housing. It concludes that millions of Americans are struggling to find affordable housing, a problem that’s especially challenging for those earning the federal minimum wage—$7.25 per hour. For example, a U.S. renter earning minimum wage would need to work an average of 94.5 hours a week to afford a one-bedroom rental home.

The study says Louisiana ranks 30th in the country for “highest housing wage,” a metric measuring the ability of low-wage workers to afford rents. A Louisiana worker must earn $16.16 an hour to afford a two-bedroom rental without spending more than 30% of their income on housing.

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