BURLINGTON, VT – In order to afford a modest, two-bedroom apartment at the Fair Market Rent in Vermont, renters need to earn $21.13 an hour, or $43,947 a year. This is Vermont’s 2016 Housing Wage, revealed in the annual Out of Reach report released late last month by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a Washington, DC-based research and advocacy organization, and today by the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition. The Housing Wage is the hourly wage a family must earn, working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, to be able to afford the rent and utilities for a safe and modest home in the private housing market (affordable means paying no more than 30% of income). Every year, Out of Reach reports on the Housing Wage for all states, counties, and metropolitan areas in the country. The report highlights the gap between what renters earn and what it costs to afford rent at fair market value. With an estimated mean renter wage of $11.79 an hour, average Vermont renters are left $9.34 an hour short of what they need to earn to afford a decent place to live. They can afford just $613 a month for rent and utilities while the average statewide Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,099. Vermont has nearly 75,000 renter households.
The national Housing Wage is $20.30 in 2016.
Vermont is the state with the sixth largest shortfall between the two-bedroom housing wage and the renter wage.
Vermont is the seventh most expensive state for rural (non-metro) areas.
Vermont is the 13th most expensive state in the nation for renters.
The Housing Wage in the greater metropolitan area of Burlington is $26.08, almost $5.00 an hour higher than the state average.
The one-bedroom Housing Wage is $16.58 an hour ($34,479 a year), requiring 69 work hours a week at minimum wage to afford the monthly rent of $862.
Someone with a disability living on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can only afford $236 a month, leaving them $863 short for a two-bedroom, and $626 short for a one-bedroom apartment.
The Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition is a 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, people living with homelessness, and people with disabilities. For more information on the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition, visit www.vtaffordablehousing.org.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition is dedicated solely to achieving socially just public policy that assures people with the lowest incomes in the United States have affordable and decent homes. For more information on the National Low Income Housing Coalition, visit www.nlihc.org