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:


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Business + Economy

Consumers who pay in cash used to get discounts. Now, it can cost you extra as we shift away from p...

Amanda Dickson

Want to pay cash? That might cost extra

Consumers who pay in cash used to get discounts. Now, it can cost you extra as we shift away from paying with cash in our society.

19 hours ago

On July of 2024, The Sundance Institute is bringing back to Utah the Sundance Film Festival films w...

Esme Sanchez Estevez

Free Sundance summer screenings return to Utah

Free Sundance Film summer screenings will be held in Park City, Salt Lake City, and West Valley City. 

4 days ago

Incumbent Gov. Spencer Cox, left, shakes hands with Utah Rep. Phil Lyman after Utah’s gubernatori...

Andrew Gordon

Cost of 2034 Olympic games addressed by Utah’s GOP gubernatorial candidates in debate

The 2034 Winter Olympic Games could cost around $4 billion, but there is a hope it won't cost Utah taxpayers anything.

5 days ago

Johnson & Johnson brand baby powder, one of several products at the center of lawsuits against the ...

Kyle Remund

State of Utah reaches settlement with Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson will be giving Utah and many other states a massive payout due to deceptive marketing practices for talc-based products.

5 days ago

Customers wait in line for Starbucks, the chain just announced new value meal options...

Mariah Maynes

Starbucks joins value meal race with new ‘Pairings’ options

Like its competitors, Starbucks is adding a value meal to boost sales. The coffee chain is calling them "Pairings."

5 days ago

FILE: A TRAX vehicle wrapped in Olympic imagery during a visit of the International Olympic Committ...

Tammy Kikuchi

Organizers reveal 2034 Olympics budget, total comes in slightly less than 2002

Utah hopes to be named as the host city for the 2034 games, and budget planning is already underway.

8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...


Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

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