Being able to afford safe and healthy housing for families has been a continuous problem over the past few decades; however, the problem only seems to be getting worse. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people all over the country lost jobs and suffered financial instability, causing housing to become a major issue as well.
As housing prices continue to increase every year, the minimum wage that workers earn does not increase fast enough in order to accommodate the housing prices. In a report conducted by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, “A renter in search of a modest two-bedroom home, who is seeking to stay within the 30% income window, needs to earn $24.90 per hour, the study says” (Source: npr.org). This dollar amount is over 3 times higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25, which shows how unrealistic and difficult finding and maintaining affordable housing is for people across the U.S.
When looking specifically at California and the Orange County area, the minimum wage is $14.00 per hour. In the National Low Income Housing Coalition report, it was concluded that workers who earn minimum wage here in Orange County would have to work a minimum of 89 hours per week in order to afford and pay rent for a one-bedroom apartment. These conditions show the severity of the housing crisis in our community.