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Report: Idaho has no affordable housing for minimum wage workers

File photo by Glenn Landberg.

File photo.

There is no affordable housing available in Idaho for minimum wage workers who need an apartment at fair market rent, according to a report released by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

The Washington, D.C.,-based research and advocacy organization determined a worker would have to earn $11 an hour in Idaho to afford a one-bedroom apartment at fair market rent of $572 per month. In Ada County, the worker would have to earn $11.87 an hour for a $617 one-bedroom apartment.

The minimum wage in Idaho is $7.25 per hour. NLIHC determined the average renter in Idaho earns $11.23 per hour. The affordable rent for a minimum wage worker is $377 per month, according to the NLIHC report.

In Idaho in 2014, 29,000 workers across the state earned minimum wage or less. At the minimum wage, a worker would have to work 78 hours per week to afford a two-bedroom apartment, according to the Boise/Ada County Homeless Coalition.

“The actuality is there is no way a person living in Idaho earning minimum wage can afford any housing option that is available to them,” said Peg Richards, president of the Boise/Ada County Homeless Coalition. “It is important to know throughout the state we have a housing problem and it has to be addressed… Many two-earner households can be considered ‘homeless-in-waiting.’”

About Teya Vitu

Teya Vitu is an Idaho Business Review reporter, covering commercial real estate, construction, transportation and whatever else may intrigue him in the moment. Join me on Twitter at @IBR_TeyaVitu.

2 comments

  1. bill@cmgsolutions.net

    Everyone (except for the National Low Income Housing Coalition) understands that minimum wage jobs are typically jobs for those just starting out. These workers typically live at home, or at the very least, have 1 or 2 roommates. When I was “starting out” and earning below minimum wage (waiter/bartender), I was in HS, then college. I lived at home, then had roommates. Minimum wage is typically not for someone that has been in the workforce for any length of time. If you’re 25 and on minimum wage, you get a roommate…it’s what you do! If you’re married and you earn minimum wage, both work and live in a 1-bdrm apartment, and the math works!

    This report doesn’t determine anything!

  2. marketing@talloo.com

    I would argue that Idaho has plenty, Boise has very little, but none??