PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — According to a survey from housing finance company Freddie Mac, most renters in the U.S. experienced a rent increase from July 2021 to 2022. Within that same time frame, the survey shows that most renters didn’t receive a pay raise at work.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition’s Out of Reach report reveals how this trend of rising rent affects people with stable wages.
“The report’s central statistic, the Housing Wage, is an estimate of the hourly wage a full-time worker must earn to afford a modest rental home at HUD’s fair market rent (FMR) without spending more than 30% of their income on housing costs, the accepted standard of affordability,” the coalition said.
In Oregon, the report says minimum wage is $13.50 per hour, meaning that residents would have to work 68 hours each week to afford a one-bedroom rental home at $1,199.
In Washington, the minimum hourly wage is $14.49, and residents would have to work 72 hours each week to afford a $1,350 home.
However, rental affordability goes even lower when comparing those figures to housing costs in Oregon and Washington’s metropolises.
According to NLIHC’s data, fair market rent is $1,512 for one-bedrooms in the Portland, Vancouver and Hillsboro areas. In the Seattle-Bellevue area, the number increases to $1,739.
The coalition says that investing in affordable housing is one solution to the national housing crisis and, on a state level, Oregon lawmakers have already announced their own plans to invest in housing.
On Wednesday, Gov. Tina Kotek signed a $200 million Affordable Housing & Emergency Homelessness Response Package that includes a spike in housing production, rental assistance, rehousing programs and more.
Additionally, Portland’s Housing Bureau recently released a Housing Bond 2022 Progress Report, which shows that the bureau has exceeded its goal to build 1,300 permanently affordable homes by 2024.