Tampa Bay residents earning minimum wage need to work 83 hours a week to afford a basic apartment, says new study

It takes 103 hours to live in a two-bedroom spot.


The National Low Income Housing Coalition’s 2019 Out of Reach report (OOR) is out, and it’s bad news for Tampa Bay's minimum wage earners.

According to the report, a Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater resident making $8.46 (the minimum wage in Florida) would have to work 103 hours a week to afford a two-bedroom apartment apartment at fair market prices ($1,133 a month). To afford a one-bedroom apartment at $916 a month, that same minimum wage earner would have to be on the clock 83 hours a week.

To be considered “affordable” in the OOR, the cost of rent and utilities must not exceed 30% of household income. Fair market rent figures come from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s best estimate of what a household seeking a modest rental home in a short amount of time can expect to pay for rent and utilities in the current market.

click to enlarge Tampa Bay residents earning minimum wage need to work 83 hours a week to afford a basic apartment, says new study
National Low Income Housing Coalition

The news should come at no surprise, however, since we recently learned that the average Tampa resident can only afford a 619-square-foot apartment (about the size of a small garden gazebo), but it doesn’t make the findings any less disheartening.

In the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area, the median wage is $16.85, and data from the OOR study said that a worker would need to earn $21.79 an hour to afford that two-bedroom apartment.

Still, Florida is only the 15th worst place to live if you’re a minimum wage worker. That title of most expensive state belongs to Hawaii where average rent was $1,914. Arkansas, where rent is $742. is the most affordable place for minimum wage workers.

See the national report via nlihc.org.

click to enlarge Tampa Bay residents earning minimum wage need to work 83 hours a week to afford a basic apartment, says new study
National Low Income Housing Coalition


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About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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