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How to know if people are working too many hours to put a roof over their heads on one handy map

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With median income less under President Barack Obama than it was in 2007, the struggle to find affordable housing is a growing problem for many Americans.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition, a social justice organization that advocates for affordable housing, to include federally subsidized housing, states in its 2016 annual report that “in no state can a minimum wage worker afford a one-bedroom rental unit at the average Fair Market Rent, working a standard 40-hour work week, without paying more than 30% of their income.”

The finding proves to be beneficial to union-led efforts to increase the minimum wage in America.

The NLIHC, which lists the AFL-CIO among its financial contributors and has a representative from the federation of unions on its board of directors, included a map that shows how many hours people would need to work in each state to keep their rent below 30 percent of their income:

hours needed

A second map reflects the hourly wage a person would need to earn to meet the threshold of paying less than 30 percent of their income for housing.

The results would suggest the union-financed “Fight for $15” minimum wage movement may be just the beginning:

wage needed

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Tom Tillison


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