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Calaveras Renters Face Big Gap In ‘Housing wage’

Calaveras County renters must earn $12.21 an hour to afford renting a two-bedroom home, according to a report by the National Low-Income Housing Coalition.

About 41-percent of Calaveras County renters are unable to afford rent for a two-bedroom unit. The amount a person working full-time has to earn to afford the fair market rent on a two-bedroom unit is referred to as the “housing wage.”

The report said county minimum-wage workers would have to work 72 hours a week to afford a two-bedroom unit.

“The housing situation for people with low incomes in Calaveras County is even worse than it was last year,” said Rob Weiner of the Sacramento-based California Coalition for Rural Housing.

“People just don´t earn enough to be able to afford even modest rental housing. It is unconscionable that people in Calaveras County who work full time still cannot afford a decent place to live. It is time to make the housing crisis a priority and solve this problem once and for all,” he said.

California´s housing wage is $21.18 and is rated the second least affordable state in the nation, behind Massachusetts.

California´s housing wage increased 7.59 percent from 2002, and Calaveras County´s is up 2.75 percent.

To afford a three-bedroom unit, Calaveras County renters would need to earn $17.02 an hour.

The study shows, a “Social Security recipient (receiving $552 monthly) can afford monthly rent of no more than $166, while the fair market rent for a one-bedroom unit is $477 in Calaveras County.”

Calaveras Enterprise story by Vanessa Turner. For more Calaveras news, click: calverasenterprise.com