The Journal Gazette
Saturday, June 10, 2017 1:00 am

Indiana's wage gap in housing widens

Any mention of low per-capita wages in Indiana frequently triggers an almost-reflexive response: “But the cost of living here ...”

New figures from the National Low Income Housing Coalition challenge that response, however.

The report, documenting the gap between wages and rental housing costs, shows it requires an average wage of $15.17 an hour to afford a two-bedroom rental property in Indiana.

While it's a lower figure than most states, it's higher than both Ohio, at $15 an hour, and Kentucky, at $13.95 an hour.

To put the figure in perspective, an Indiana employee earning minimum wage would have to work 84 hours a week at the $7.25 rate to afford a two-bedroom rental.

The figure is better for Allen County employees, who would have to work 73 hours a week at $7.25 an hour; worse for Marion County workers, who would have to work 90 hours a week at a minimum-wage rate.

As is frequently the case, Illinois figures make Indiana look good by comparison.

The report shows it would require 101 hours a week at that state's $8.25 minimum-wage rate for a similar rental property. In the Chicago metropolitan area? 115 hours a week.

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