According to a new report, the average worker needs to earn at least $30.92 an hour to afford the rent for a typical two-bedroom apartment in Orange County.
The “Out of Reach” report, released May 19 by the National Low-Income Housing Coalition and the Kennedy Commission, says the typical fair market rent for a two-bedroom unit in Orange County is $1,608 per month—ranking the region among the nation’s 10 most expensive counties for renters.
The typical rent and the required hourly pay are down slightly from last year’s findings. In 2014, the housing coalition reported that a worker needed to earn $31.62 an hour to afford a two-bedroom unit that would cost $1,664 a month.
Even with the slightly reduced rate, a minimum-wage employee would have to work at least 137 hours a week to earn just enough to make a two-bedroom unit “affordable,” assuming 30 percent of income went to the rent. A household would need 3.4 minimum wage workers, working full-time at 40 hours a week, to pay the rent.
“Housing continues to be unaffordable,” said Cesar Covarrubias, the executive director for the Kennedy Commission, an Irvine-based low-income housing advocacy group. “Housing is expensive for everyone, but it’s more expensive for low-income workers making minimum wage.”(With reports from The Orange County Register)