The coronavirus pandemic has worsened the housing crisis in the US, according to a national study released on Tuesday. The study, “Out of Reach”, examined the intersection of housing and income across the United States of America since 1989. According to the study, an Illinois worker must have to earn $44310 to afford the rent for a two-bedroom apartment.
The recommended amount to be spent by a family on housing is no more than 30% of its income. It means that an Illinois worker must have to spend $1108 a month on housing. According to the recent stats, almost a third of Illinoisans are renters. They have to work at the rate of $21.30 per hour over a 40-hour week to afford the fair market rent in Illinois.
Two years ago, an Illinois worker has to $20.34 an hour to afford the rent for a two-bedroom apartment. The study warned, “There is no place in Illinois where a minimum-wage worker can afford a two-bedroom apartment.” The minimum wage in Illinois rose to $10 an hour this month. The state’s minimum wage was $8.25 two years ago. According to the predictions, the minimum wage in Illinois will be $15 an hour in 2025. However, it will, still, not be able to allow the workers to afford a two-bedroom apartment.
The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the situation due to the economic fallouts. Sharon Legenza, the executive director of Housing Action Illinois, said in a statement, “Even before the pandemic, far too many families in Illinois were making impossible decisions between paying rent and basic necessities like food and medicine.” Legenza added that the Illinoisans were in a tougher situation due to the health crisis.
The study stated that an Illinois worker must have to work 72 hours a week at the state minimum wage to afford a one-bedroom apartment. It must have to work 85 hours a week at the minimum wage to afford a two-bedroom apartment. Bob Palmer, the policy director of Housing Action Illinois, said, “Congress needs to act during July to keep people from losing their homes.”