(The Center Square) – The ideal hourly wage needed to rent a two-bedroom apartment in North Carolina is $18.46 an hour, according to a new report.
The 2021 Out of Reach report, published this week by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, shows how much a full-time worker in each state would need to earn to rent a two-bedroom apartment without spending more than 30% of their income.
The Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom apartment in North Carolina is $960 a month, ranking 29th in the nation.
Analysts estimated for North Carolinians to afford rent and utilities at 30% of their income, they must earn $3,200 a month or $38,400 a year.
About 35% of workers in the state rent their homes, the report showed. The average renter, however, makes $16.37 an hour. North Carolinians who earn minimum wage – $7.25 an hour – have to work 102 hours a week to afford a two-bedroom apartment in the state.
The most affordable rental markets in North Carolina are the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, Rockingham County and Jones County metro areas, according to the report. The Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom apartment in those regions were $693 a month, which means workers in those areas must make $13.33 an hour to afford rent comfortably.
The most expensive metro area is Asheville. Renters there must make $24.60 an hour to afford the Fair Market Rent of $1,279 per month.
The Fair Market Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in North Carolina is $811, meaning renters need to earn $32,439, or $15.60 an hour, to afford the space. Minimum-wage workers must work 86 hours a week to make the mark.
Nearly 125,000 people are employed in retail as salespeople, the report showed. They made a median salary of $12.01 an hour. The report also showed that 122,680 North Carolinians are cashiers with a median salary of $10.38 an hour.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition is a Washington-based nonprofit dedicated to finding affordable for housing low-income Americans.