In Illinois, the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,085. In order to afford this level of rent and utilities — without paying more than 30% of income on housing — a household must earn $3,617 monthly or $43,406 annually. Assuming a 40-hour work week, 52 weeks per year, this level of income translates into an hourly Housing Wage of: $20.87
The problem is systemic and is reaching almost epidemic proportions. Rents are soaring in every state and community at that same time when most Americans haven’t seen enough of an increase in their paychecks.
The result: more than 7 million extremely low-income families do not have an affordable place to call home and half a million people are living on the street, in shelters, or in their cars on any given night. The human toll this places on families – through stress and job loss – are extraordinary and well-documented by Harvard sociologist Matthew Desmond in his recent book, “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.”
…The most shameful part is the fact that we already have the resources and solutions needed to effectively end homelessness and housing poverty for millions of families. We just need the political will to do what is right