[Hpn] Working Poor Can't Afford Fair Market Rent - NLIHC USA STUDY - fw

Tom Boland wgcp@earthlink.net
Sat, 23 Sep 2000 15:58:16 -0700 (PDT)

Cc: "National Coalition for the Homeless" <NCH@ari.net>,
        "Ted Hayes" <HOMELESS@AOL.COM>,
        "Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom" <Wmnofstl@cruzio.com>,

Virginia Sellner <wch@vcn.com>, executive director of the
Wyoming Coalition for the Homeless <http://www.vcn.com/~wch/>,
said wages are not rising as rents go up.

A new NLIHC STUDY finds an Affordable Housing Crisis across the USA:

FWD  Associated Press - AP Wire Service - Sep 21, 2000


CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) _ It has become more difficult for working
poor people to rent an apartment in Wyoming over the last year, but
the situation is much worse in Colorado, according to a new report.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition released national
statistics Wednesday about affordable housing. Nowhere in the
nation can a minimum wage worker afford the fair market rent for
homes in their communities.

But it is a bit easier in Wyoming than in other areas, where the
coalition says it takes a full-time job paying $9.42 an hour to
afford a two-bedroom apartment, assuming 30 percent of the total
income is paid out in rent. That is compared to $9.25 last year.

In Colorado, the figure is $12.34 per hour.

``In my general experience, people aren't turned away from an
apartment because they don't have enough money,'' said Gale
Anderson, broker/owner of Preferred Management, a Cheyenne rental
management company.

``However, I've seen a number of people get together to rent a
two-bedroom apartment.''

The coalition said 38 percent of Wyoming renters cannot afford a
two-bedroom unit, while nearly half of renters cannot afford a
three-bedroom unit.

The study said the fair market rent in Wyoming has risen from
$481 to $490 for a two-bedroom unit over the last year, as
determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Virginia Sellner, executive director of the Wyoming Coalition
for the Homeless, said wages are not rising as rents go up.

``Wyoming is a low wage state,'' she said. ``If a person becomes
homeless, it is difficult to earn enough money to rent an

Teton County has the highest cost of rentals in the state, with
an hourly wage of $12.83 needed to rent a two-bedroom apartment.

Cheyenne is the second-most expensive at $11.94. By comparison,
Casper residents must make $9.37 to afford the same apartment.

The rest of the counties are listed as $8.38, except Albany, at

``There is no solution to the housing problem if communities
keep destroying low-income housing to make way for expensive, new
housing,'' Sellner said.

``I just don't think people care.''
On the Net:
National Low Income Housing Coalition: http://www.nlihc.org

AP-WS-09-21-00 2010EDT
Received Id AP10026581026E63 on Sep 23 2000 08:35


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