Tampa Bay renters earning minimum wage need to work 92 hours a week to afford a basic apartment, says study

A recent report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition shows Tampa Bay area is the eighth most expensive metropolitan area in the state.

click to enlarge Tampa Bay renters earning minimum wage need to work 92 hours a week to afford a basic apartment, says study
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Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, home prices have actually increased in Florida and in Tampa Bay. So, it’s really no surprise that we live in one of the worst places in the country to be a renter.

A recent report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition shows Florida is currently the 12th most expensive state for renters in the U.S., and the Tampa Bay area is the eighth most expensive metropolitan area in the state. 

According to the report, Florida’s Fair Market Rent, which includes rent and basic utilities, is $1,270 for a two-bedroom rental property, $24 more than the national average, and $1,027 for a one-bedroom.

“In order to afford this level of rent and utilities — without paying more than 30% of income on housing — a household must earn $4,234 monthly or $50,807 annually. Assuming a 40-hour work week, 52 weeks per year, this level of income translates into an hourly Housing Wage of: $24.43,” the report reads.

Single Florida residents renting a one-bedroom unit, need to make at least $19.75 per hour, $3,160 monthly or $41,080 annually.

With a Fair Market Rent of $1,206 for a two-bedroom apartment, the hourly housing wage necessary for the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan area is $23.19. 

However, the average hourly wage for Florida renters is $17.28 and $18.16 for Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater renters. Florida’s minimum wage is also just $8.56. 

According to the report, it takes 114 work hours per week at minimum wage to afford a two-bedroom rental property and 92 hours per week to afford a one-bedroom in Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater.

“In 16 states, including California, Florida, and New York, the average renter earns at least $5.00 less than the state’s average two-bedroom Housing Wage,” the report reads. 

The areas in Florida with the most expensive renting rates are Monroe County at a $33.23 housing wage, Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall HMFA at $31.25, Fort Lauderdale HMFA at $29.38 and West Palm Beach-Boca Raton HMFA at $28.96. You can read the full report here

According to a study by Apartment List, Tampa recently experienced one of the 10 largest rental rate declines in the country. 

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