Vermont Ranked Among Least Affordable States for Renters

Source: VAHC Out Of Reach Press Release 2011 Vermont Ranked Among Least Affordable States for Renters National Housing Affordability Report Confirms Vermont Findings BURLINGTON – A national report confirms that renters in Vermont struggle to find affordable places to live. Vermont is ranked the 15th least affordable state in the nation, according to a new report jointly released by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), a Washington, DC-based housing advocacy group, and the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition (VAHC). These findings confirm the housing/wage research done by the Vermont Housing Finance Agency for their report, Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Housing and Wages in Vermont, which was released just over a week ago. As found in the Housing and Wage report, the Vermont Housing Wage is estimated at $19.04. This is the 15th highest state Housing Wage in the nation and the 4th highest growth rate for Housing Wages from 2000-2010, at 65%. The Housing Wage is the amount per hour that an individual working full time and only paying 30% of their income on housing would have to make to afford a two-bedroom apartment at the Fair Market Rent (FMR). In Vermont, the FMR for a two-bedroom apartment is $990. Affordability has also declined in the rural areas of Vermont; rural Vermont ranks 8th highest for the most expensive rural areas in the nation, last year we were 10th. The Housing Wage for Vermont’s rural areas is $16.91, a 58% increase since 2000. This ranks Vermont as the state with the 5th highest increase for rural, non-metro areas nationally. Working at the minimum wage in Vermont, a family must have 2.3 wage earners working full-time – or one full-time earner working 93 hours per week at minimum wage – to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment.  According to the Census Bureau’s 2009 American Community Survey, 62% of Vermont’s households had only one, or less than one full time worker. The typical renter in Vermont earns $10.75 per hour, which is $8.29 less than the hourly wage needed to afford a modest unit. The report, Out of Reach 2011, provides the Housing Wage and other housing affordability data for every state, metropolitan area and county in the country, comparing 52 jurisdictions, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.  A Vermont fact sheet is attached.  The full report is available online at: http://www.vtaffordablehousing.org/documents/resources/695_OOR_2011_-_Intro_Tables_Maps_and_Appendices.pdf The Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition is Vermont’s only statewide membership organization dedicated to ensuring that all Vermonters have decent, safe and affordable housing, particularly the state’s low and moderate-income residents, elders, and people with disabilities. For information on the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition, visit www.vtaffordablehousing.org. ###

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