A National Resource to Support Excellence in Community Action

Out of Reach 2014 – National Low Income Housing Coalition

The signature finding of Out of Reach is the annual Housing Wage - the hourly wage a full-time worker must earn to afford a decent two-bedroom rental home at HUD-estimated Fair Market Rent (FMR) while spending no more than 30% of income on housing costs.  The Housing Wage allows Out of Reach to capture the gap between wages and rents across the country, and reveals the growing disparity that low income renters face.

In the United States, the 2014 two-bedroom Housing Wage is $18.92.  This national average is more than two-and-a-half times the federal minimum wage, and 52% higher than it was in 2000.  In no state can a full-time minimum wage worker afford a one-bedroom or a two-bedroom rental unit at Fair Market Rent.

Find Data for Your Locality

The report includes a side-by-side comparison of housing wages and rents in every county, Metropolitan Area (MSAs/HMFAs), combined nonmetropolitan area and state in the United States.

For each jurisdiction, the report calculates the amount of money a household must earn in order to afford a two-bedroom rental unit at the area’s Fair Market Rent (FMR), based on the generally accepted affordability standard of paying no more than 30% of income for housing costs.  From these calculations the hourly wage a worker must earn to afford the FMR for a two-bedroom home is derived.  This figure is the Housing Wage.

Further Information

State-level and comparison data is also featured, including:

Tables & National Statistics

  • Most Expensive Jurisdictions
  • State Summary Statistics
  • U.S. Summary Statistics
  • Two-Bedroom Housing Wage
  • Hours at Minimum Wage to Afford Rent


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