Orlando-area workers earning minimum wage must work 96 hours a week to afford a one-bedroom apartment, says new study


  • Photo courtesy City of Orlando/Facebook
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, home prices have actually increased in Florida and in Orlando. So it’s really no surprise that we live in one of the worst places in the country to be a renter.

A recent report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition shows Florida is currently the 12th most expensive state for renters in the U.S., and the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford area is the fifth most expensive metropolitan area in the state.

According to the report, Florida’s Fair Market Rent, which includes rent and basic utilities, is $1,270 for a two-bedroom rental property, $24 more than the national average, and $1,027 for a one-bedroom.

“In order to afford this level of rent and utilities — without paying more than 30% of income on housing — a household must earn $4,234 monthly or $50,807 annually. Assuming a 40-hour work week, 52 weeks per year, this level of income translates into an hourly Housing Wage of $24.43,” the report reads.

Single Florida residents renting a one-bedroom unit need to make at least $19.75 per hour, $3,160 monthly or $41,080 annually.

With a Fair Market Rent of $1,248 for a two-bedroom apartment, the hourly housing wage necessary for the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford metropolitan area is $24.

However, the average hourly wage for Florida renters is $17.28 – $17.21 for Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford renters. Florida’s minimum wage is also just $8.56.

According to the report, it takes 112 work hours per week at minimum wage to afford a two-bedroom rental property and 96 hours per week to afford a one-bedroom in the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford metro area.

“In 16 states, including California, Florida and New York, the average renter earns at least $5 less than the state’s average two-bedroom Housing Wage,” the report reads.

The areas in Florida with the most expensive rental rates are Monroe County at a $33.23 housing wage, Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall HMFA at $31.25, Fort Lauderdale HMFA at $29.38 and West Palm Beach-Boca Raton HMFA at $28.96. You can read the full report here.

According to a study by Apartment List, the Orlando area recently experienced one of the second largest rental rate declines in the country.

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