Report: Utah’s Housing Wage Is $20.21 Per Hour To Afford 2-Bedroom Apartment

Jul 14, 2021, 7:20 PM | Updated: Jul 15, 2021, 6:52 am

MIDVALE, Utah — Full-time workers in the Beehive State need to earn just over $20 an hour in order to afford a modest, two-bedroom apartment, according to a new joint report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition and the Utah Housing Coalition.

“It is very concerning the amount of money someone has to make to be able to live in our state,” said Tara Rollins, the executive director of the Utah Housing Coalition.

The “Out of Reach 2021” housing report calculated Utah’s housing wage to be $20.21 per hour. That equated to $3,503 monthly or $42,036 annually to afford a two-bedroom rental unit without paying more than 30% of one’s income towards rent. 

“We have hardworking people that can’t afford to live in our communities,” Rollins said, “and these are the very people that we need to help our economy.”

Utah’s housing wage was less than the report’s national housing wage of $24.90 per hour.

In addition to rising rent prices, Rollins said renters are also dealing with competition for available units due to a lack of inventory.

“We also have a lot of landlords that are terminating leases because they’re a business and they know they can get more rent than what they were charging previously,” Rollins said.

After five years in the same place, Midvale resident Jessica Kader started looking for a new apartment but hasn’t had any luck.

“I log in at least 50 times a day to see if there’s anything new,” she said.

The single mom of three children said the rental market has changed since she last looked for housing.

“The prices have gone up dramatically,” Kader said. “Even private renters who want to rent their basement are almost charging the price of their entire mortgage.”

Kader said from the time she calls about an available apartment and goes to visit the next day it’s already been rented to someone else.

“It’s like a rat race,” she said of the competition. “I’m still holding on to hope that something will be available and be perfect for me and my kids.”

The report said Utah had the 25th highest housing wage in the nation with a Fair Market Rent of a two-bedroom apartment at $1,051.

At Utah’s minimum wage of $7.25, a person would need to work 112 hours per week to afford a two-bedroom or 92 hours per week to afford a one-bedroom rental, the report said.

“Even though employers are competing for employees paying higher wages, this is still not enough for households to afford their housing only paying 30% of their income to housing,” the Utah Housing Coalition said in a press release. “In our tourist areas of the state businesses are unable to open full-time due to lack of workforce being able to live in the area.”

There are nearly 292,000 renter households in Utah, according to the report. The average renter in the state earns $15.66 per hour.

The counties in Utah with the highest housing wages are Summit County at $25.40, followed by Salt Lake County at $23.15 and Wasatch County at $22.29.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Unaffordable Utah

County leaders broke ground Friday to transform two public housing buildings into modern affordable...
Jed Boal, KSL TV

Work begins on 300 affordable housing units for Salt Lake seniors

Salt Lake County made a big move Friday to preserve and improve nearly 300 affordable housing units for seniors.
2 months ago
Ladd Egan, KSL TV

Home valuations jump dramatically, but watchdog group says to expect modest increase in property taxes

Assessors across Utah are finishing up home valuations for upcoming property tax notices, and two counties are already reporting big increases in values.
2 months ago
Utah's hot housing market...
Ladd Egan, KSL TV

Utah housing expert predicts pullback in activity because of mortgage rates

An expert in Utah’s housing market expects that rising mortgage rates will cause a pullback in real estate activity and a slowdown in home price increases.
2 months ago
Lauren Steinbrecher, KSL TV

SLC neighborhood townhall raises questions over Affordable Housing Incentives proposal

Thursday night, concerns arose at a community townhall in a Salt Lake City neighborhood over an affordable housing incentives proposal, that some worry is deeply flawed.
2 months ago
Ladd Egan, KSL TV

Unaffordable Utah: Budget-friendly family summer fun

After two summers of pandemic restrictions, Utah families are itching to have some fun. If inflation, gas prices, and sky-high plane tickets are taxing your budget, don't worry! KSL has the solutions.
3 months ago
Ladd Egan, KSL TV

National home builder confidence drops to two-year low

For the fifth straight month, national home builder confidence fell, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index.
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Report: Utah’s Housing Wage Is $20.21 Per Hour To Afford 2-Bedroom Apartment