Affordable housing is out of reach for many in Louisiana
Workers would need to earn $17.25 per hour to afford a modest two bedroom
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - According to a new report, full-time workers in Louisiana would need to earn at least $17.25 an hour to afford to rent a modest two-bedroom apartment.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) and HousingLOUISIANA released new data in a report on July 28 amid record-high inflation and rising rental costs. The data can be viewed at Out of Reach 2022.
“Decades of chronic underfunding for housing assistance have resulted in a housing-lottery system, where only 25 percent of eligible households receive the housing assistance they need,” said NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel. “With rents rising rapidly, homelessness worsening, and millions of families struggling to stay housed, federal investments in expanding proven solutions – like Housing Choice Vouchers, the national Housing Trust Fund, and public housing – are badly needed and long overdue. As a country, we have the data, partnerships, expertise, solutions, and means to end homelessness and housing poverty – we lack only the political will to fund solutions at the scale necessary.”
These raising rent increases are affecting tenants nationwide, with median rents for two-bedroom apartments increasing by nearly 18%. When you account for raising costs of food and transportation low-income renters have increasingly tighter budgets, many needing to make difficult decisions about their budget, sacrificing childcare, medical care, and food just to maintain housing.
“Our failure to put housing first in this state makes all of our other problems even worse,” says Andreanecia Morris, President of HousingLOUISIANA. “Housing insecurity is the driver, and these numbers confirm that the consequences of COVID, combined with the failure to act by our leaders, has put us on a course that the state may not recover from. We are urging policy officials to act now, and stop ignoring a crisis that the rest of us don’t have the luxury to ignore. The lack of affordable housing is the number one problem in most Louisiana communities, and the second biggest problem is that our leaders choose not to address it.”
NLIHC is a research and advocacy organization dedicated solely to achieving affordable and decent homes for the lowest-income people.
HousingLOUISIANA, is a statewide network of nine regional housing coalitions.
*The federal minimum wage has remained at $7.25 an hour without an increase since 2009, not keeping pace with the high cost of rental housing. In no state, even those where the minimum wage has been set above the federal standard, can a minimum-wage renter working a 40-hour work week afford a modest two-bedroom rental at the average fair market rent. Working at the minimum wage of $7.25 in Louisiana, a wage earner must have 2 full-time jobs or work 81 hours per week to afford just a modest one-bedroom apartment and have 2.4 full-time jobs or work 98 hours per week to afford a two-bedroom apartment.*
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