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PRRAC Analysis Shows That Nearly Half of African American and Hispanic Families in the US Face Burdensome Housing Costs
3/14/2013 2:24:26 PM

WASHINGTON, DC - Nearly half of the African American and Hispanic families in the United States lack sufficient income to afford a two-bedroom apartment at the average fair market rent, according to a comprehensive analysis of Out of Reach 2013 conducted by Poverty & Race Research Action Council (PRRAC). Out of Reach 2013 is a widely circulated study from the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) on the affordability of rental housing for low-wage workers.

According to the Out of Reach 2013, a typical full time worker in the US must earn $18.79 per hour to afford a decent two bedroom apartment while spending no more than 30% of their income - the amount the government sets as "affordable" - on housing costs. Currently, an average renter earns about $14.32 hourly wage.

Furthermore, NLIHC estimates that a family will need an annual income of $39,080 to afford a two-bedroom apartment at an average fair market rent of $977. An analysis of data from the NLIHC study and the 2007-2011 American Community Survey show that there are 22,510,587 families in the US with annual income less than approximately $39,080.

This year PRRAC completed, for the first time, a racial breakdown of the NLIHC's annual housing affordability study. The analysis indicates that high percentages of African American and Hispanic families face significant cost burdens in trying to maintain sufficient housing.

"The results are stunning," said Philip Tegeler, the PRRAC president. "Finding affordable housing is a challenge for all low-income Americans, but our analysis demonstrates it is even more burdensome for families of color. This should be a wake-up call for the Administration and Congress that addressing housing costs, and creating more affordable housing, must be a national priority."

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