SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A new report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition and the advocacy organization Housing California has found that in the San Francisco metropolitan area, someone would have to earn nearly $40 an hour to afford a decent two-bedroom rental unit.

”Out of Reach 2015” looked at census and federal housing data and found that the tightening rental market across the country is making it increasingly difficult for low income renters to find decent, affordable apartments.

That is especially the case in the Bay Area, according to Shamus Roller, Executive Director of Housing California. “In the San Francisco metro area, you have to make $39.65 an hour to be able to afford the average two-bedroom apartment,” he said.

Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties topped the list of most expensive counties in the country, and Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties were not far behind, at $34.79 and $33.77 an hour respectively.

California ranks only behind Hawaii and the District of Columbia when it comes to the Housing Wage needed for a Fair Market Rent two-bedroom apartment. The study found that in the state, a household must earn $4,619 a month or $55,433 annually in order to afford rent and utilities, without spending more than 30 percent of income on housing.

“Their housing costs are starting to crowd out many of the other costs, making them spend less money on food, and less money on education,” Roller said.

READ: Out of Reach 2015 Report

At least a quarter of the renters in California spend more than half of their income on rent.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition and Housing California are advocating for an affordable National Housing Trust Fund and boosting the state’s low income housing tax credit as possible solutions.


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