JACKSONVILLE, Fla .– A new report on renting homes shows it’s getting much harder for low-income people to find affordable housing, and experts say the problem could get worse.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition just released its annual report Report out of scope it shows that a worker in the Jacksonville area earning minimum wage would have to work 99 hours a week – almost two and a half full-time jobs – to afford a two-bedroom rental at fair rent.
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“People are really at a point where they’re making tough decisions about whether to pay rent, buy food, get medicine – these very basic needs are real decisions people have to make,” said Shannon Nazworth. , CEO and President of Ability Housing.
Nazworth said market pressure makes it difficult for low-income families to find affordable housing. The report shows that Jacksonville’s housing wage for 2021 is $ 21.40 for a two-bedroom rental at fair rent, nearly 2.5 times the minimum wage of $ 8.65.
As for the housing wage, it’s $ 3.42 less than the state average.
“The homes in our community just go up and up, which is great if you own a home and are building up some equity,” Nazworth said. “But if you are a working family and you are just trying to find accommodation to rent, you find yourself in an increasingly difficult situation every day. “
Compared to 2020 numbers for a 2-bedroom rental, the hours a Jacksonville worker would have to devote to afford it have increased. Due to limitations, Action News Jax was unable to speak with a resident of Ability Housing, but Nazworth says the unfortunate decision many must make is to sacrifice the cost of rent for a potentially dangerous neighborhood.
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“People are forced to make decisions – they are going to live in a car or they are going to stay in an apartment that is not safe for them and their children and that is just inappropriate,” she said.
Nazworth said there was no easy way to get comfortable, saying the need outweighs the offer, but some websites, like FloridaHousingSearch.org, can help find affordable housing for people in need.
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