Milwaukeeans need to earn $17.73 an hour to afford rent, report shows

MILWAUKEE -- The cost of rent is skyrocketing, with the 2020 National Housing Wage $23.96 for a modest two-bedroom rental home, and $19.56 for a modest one-bedroom rental home, with the federal minimum wage at $7.25 an hour. Complicating matters is the massive wave of unemployment in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A new report shows Wisconsin is the 32nd most expensive state for renters. That report shows 12 of the 20 largest occupations in the United States pay less than the National Housing Wage.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition has published the report showing what a person needs to make per hour in the state of Wisconsin to be able to afford a two-bedroom apartment.

Overall, it's recommended that Wisconsinites should earn at least $17.27 per hour ($35,913 annually). That's to afford the state's Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom apartment or rental property, which is about $898 a month.

"In order to afford this level of rent and utilities — without paying more than 30% of income on housing — a household must earn $2,993 monthly or $35,913 annually," the report states. This is assuming a 40-hour work week, 52 weeks a year.

The report found Wisconsin has 775,089 rental households, or 33% of households. The average hourly wage for Wisconsinites who rent their residence is $14.32. Wisconsin's minimum wage is $7.25.

The report also states that in order for someone making minimum wage to afford a one-bedroom rental, they would need to work 77 hours per week -- and would need 1.9 full-time jobs.

When it comes to individual markets, those living in the Milwaukee, Waukesha and West Allis area need to make $17.73 to afford a two-bedroom apartment, while in Madison, that wage rises to $22.81 and in Kenosha County, it's $20/hour.

The most expensive state to live in is Hawaii where the recommended hourly wage is $38.76 followed by California at $36.96.

You can read the full report HERE.