Rental affordability in Virginia?

A Virginia family needs to earn $40,876 per year to afford an average two-bedroom apartment (and utilities) in the state, according to a report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition. That translates to about $19.65 per hour (assuming a 40-hour work week and keeping rent to 30% of income).

Virginia’s minimum wage is $7.25 per hour ($15,080 per year), and the median renter’s household income (which may include one, two, or more people) is $39,733.

A one-bedroom apartment in the state has a fair-market rent of about $887; two bedrooms goes for $1,022.

So what does all that mean?

It means that two people earning minimum wage would need to spend 35% of their combined income to rent a one-bedroom apartment.

It means that a typical rental household could afford to rent a one-bedroom place, but two bedrooms would be stretching it. Put another way, “A renter household needs 1.4 full-time jobs paying the mean renter wage in order to afford a two-bedroom rental unit at the Fair Market Rent.”

About Andrew Kantor

Andrew is VAR's editor and information manager, and -- lessee now -- a former reporter for the Roanoke Times, former technology columnist for USA Today, and a former magazine editor for a bunch of places. He hails from New York with stops in Connecticut, New Jersey, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Roanoke.
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