- Associated Press - Friday, June 15, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The cost of housing in Utah is increasing at a faster rate than wages for low-income households, a new report says.

The report released this week by the National Low Income Housing Coalition indicates that people earning minimum wage would need to work 98 hours a week to be able to afford a two-bedroom apartment at fair market rent in the state, the Deseret News reported .

“Housing prices continue to rise far beyond the reach of low-income wage earners,” Utah Housing Coalition Executive Director Tara Rollins said. “Without assistance, the gap between what low-wage jobs earn and what rental housing costs here is simply unbridgeable.”

Nationally, a person earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour would need to work 122 hours a week to afford a two-bedroom unit at fair market rate. For a one-bedroom apartment, a person would need to work 98 hours a week.

Housing is considered affordable if a unit at fair market rent costs 30 percent or less of a person’s income, Rollins said. The fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $924 in Utah.



A Utah household would require a monthly income of $3,079, or $36,952 a year, to afford such a unit, earning $17.77 per hour, Rollins said.

The average renter in Utah makes $13.92 per hour, leaving a $3.85 wage gap, Rollins said.

The report says the most expensive area for housing in Utah is Summit County, followed by Wasatch County and the Salt Lake City metro area.

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Information from: Deseret News, http://www.deseretnews.com

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