Authored by: Edward Larkins
We all know America is in an affordable housing crisis. We all know the chunk that rents and mortgages take out of our wallets. But an interesting Huffington Post article says that the affordable housing crisis is affecting more than our bank account. It’s preventing many couples from living the American dream and starting a family
For their Betting Thee House Project the Huffington Post asked their readers to tell them their experiences and problems with the shortage of affordable housing. They got 600 respondents who all told depressing stories. Such as how tons of them spend over half their income on rent. Or how mortgage rates and home prices have shot up at alarming speeds that the respondents are struggling to keep up with.
This statistic from the article blew my mind:
“The National Low-Income Housing Coalition further noted in its 2018 annual report that to afford a one-bedroom rental home at the average national market rate, a worker earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour would need to work 99 hours per week, for all 52 weeks of the year.”
The standard work week for full-time employees is 40 hours. 99 hours is more than double that…with no vacation or sick days. We know that in some cases there are two people contributing to the house-hold income but not every family has two adults who are able to work full-time jobs. This is the reality of America.
How can we expect people to maintain a lifestyle that involves working 99 hours per week to still only be able to afford the basic necessities to live a healthy life?
Not only is this an issue for individuals who aspire to raise a family but this is also an issue for general quality of life. The affordable housing crisis is playing a role in so many people’s lives and something must be done!
There is change coming in the affordability of child care. Several states already have legislation to provide mandated childcare. Unfortunately, the price of a home or apartment remains steep and stiff. And as the article shows, it’s a stiff enough price to stop some couples from even having children. We hope there will be a day when the cost of a home doesn’t require people to sacrifice their quality of life or dash someone’s dreams of adding a child to their family.