Report Finds the Average Vermonter Can't Afford a Two-Bedroom Apartment

Burlington, Vt. - The National Low Income Housing Coalition's Out of Reach report found the average Vermonter can't afford a modest, two-bedroom apartment.

The report defines "affordable" as costing no more than 30% of income.

The report found that to afford a two-bedroom rental home while working for minimum wage, Vermont residents would need to work 88 hours per week, more than two full-time jobs.

The report states that renters would need to earn $21.90 an hour, or $45,545 a year, in order to afford a two-bedroom apartment, while the mean renter wage is only $12.51.

"With 27% of Vermonters living in liquid asset poverty, I often hear from Vermonters who are struggling just to make ends meet. I am proud that Vermont's affordable housing leaders are some of the best in the nation. For years they have built a system to help ensure that families do not fall through the cracks," said Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT).

"While Vermont continues to make strides since the Great Recession, resources like the NLIHC Out of Reach Report remain key tools to ensure that policymakers, service providers and community partners have the information they need to help every family succeed," continued Leahy.

A Vermont full-time minimum wage worker can only afford to spend $520 a month on rent and utilities, which leaves a $619 gap in between what they can afford and the Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom apartment ($1,139 a month).

"It is no secret that—because of an economy that is rigged for the benefit of the very rich—wages for most working families have been stagnant for several decades. Millions of Americans are struggling to get by, working longer hours at lower wages, while the cost of housing keeps going up," said Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

"Here in Vermont, far too many households pay more than 50% of their limited income to keep a roof over their heads, leaving little for other necessities like food, clothing, heat and medicine. As a nation we must reorder our national priorities, and that includes investing more in decent and permanently affordable housing for working families," Sanders added.

Vermont has the fifth largest affordability gap for renters in the nation and nearly 75,000 renter households, the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition reports.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition has an interactive map with a state-by-state breakdown of the Housing Wage.

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