- 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.


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

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