BUSINESS + ECONOMY

Report: Utah renters need $20.21/hr to afford modest apartment

Jul 14, 2021, 1:42 PM | Updated: Jul 15, 2021, 9:05 am

SALT LAKE CITY — Instead of determining the average cost to rent an apartment in Utah, a new report shows just how much a renter must make to comfortably afford one. 

The Out of Reach report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition and the Utah Housing Coalition figures a Utah renter needs to make $20.21 per hour to pay for a “modest” two-bedroom apartment. Utah Housing Coalition Executive Director Tara Rollins says this is problematic because the typical Utah renter makes significantly less. 

“The mean wage in Utah is $15.66 an hour,” Rollins explained. “The cost of rentals has gone up, and up, and up, but wages have not.”

The report goes even further, breaking down the needed rate per county. Summit County renters need to make at least $25.40 an hour, $23.15 in Salt Lake County, and $22.29 in Wasatch County. 
 

Rollins says there’s a difference between affording an apartment and doing so comfortably.

“If people are paying more than 30% of their income to housing, if they have a hiccup like their car breaks down and they can’t get to work or their child is sick, these are all things that contribute to people losing wages,” she says. 

On top of low wages, a lot of first-time renters already have some debt they need to manage.

“A student that is just starting out, they have to pay their students loans,” Rollins said. “And a lot of jobs are not paying fully for healthcare, so that’s another expense.” 

For additional information and to see the full report, visit: http://www.nlihc.org/oor

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Report: Utah renters need $20.21/hr to afford modest apartment