It's expensive to live within the confines of D.C., especially since there isn't that much affordable housing available. We don't mean to discourage anyone by sharing this, but a recent study says someone making minimum wage would have to work almost the entire week to afford an average two-bedroom apartment in the city. Because numbers make facts come to life, a minimum wage worker would have to work 132 hours each week to afford a two-bedroom apartment priced at $1,412.
It's either that, or someone working a 40-hour work week would have to make $27.15 per hour, which translates to $56,472 annually. So it's either work your ass off, or make more money. Here are more details from the National Low-Income Housing Coalition's report:
In the District of Columbia, the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,412. In order to afford this level of rent and utilities - without paying more than 30% of income on housing - a household must earn $4,707 monthly or $56,480 annually. Assuming a 40-hour work week, 52 weeks per year, this level of income translates into a Housing Wage of $27.15.
In the District of Columbia, a minimum wage worker earns an hourly wage of $8.25. In order to afford the FMR for a two-bedroom apartment, a minimum wage earner must work 132 hours per week, 52 weeks per year. Or a household must include 3.3 minimum wage earners working 40 hours per week year-round in order to make the two-bedroom FMR affordable.
In the District of Columbia, the estimated mean (average) wage for a renter is $25.20. In order to afford the FMR for a two-bedroom apartment at this wage, a renter must work 43 hours per week, 52 weeks per year. Or, working 40 hours per week year-round, a household must include 1.1 workers earning the mean renter wage in order to make the two-bedroom FMR affordable.
To put it explicitly, D.C. needs more affordable housing. Mayor Vincent Gray wants to spend $100 million to build 10,000 new affordable housing units in the city, but that still won't help. However, the overabundance of new apartments in the city could drive rents down. Something has to give.