Why Does It Matter?
To afford a one-bedroom apartment, a renter in our community would need to make almost $14 an hour.
When a person is spending more on their housing, they may have to make choices about delaying or not paying other bills, buying food, or even ensuring they have heat, water, and electricity. These choices can impact the overall health, stability, and well-being of the household.
While our community is often considered an affordable place to live, a closer look at rental costs shows that it’s not true for all. The Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) 2016 Fair Market Rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom apartment is $836 for the Omaha-Council Bluffs area (this includes utilities). In order to spend no more than 30% of income on rent and afford two bedrooms, an individual must make $2,784 per month, $33,804 per year, or $17.39 per hour working 40 hours per week. Even to afford a one-bedroom apartment with a FMR of $666, an individual must make $28,829 annually or $13.86 per hour (before taxes).
The state minimum wage is $9.00 per hour in Nebraska and $8.75 in Iowa which means that quality, affordable housing is still out of reach for many. In the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro, 102,272 (30%) households make less than $35,000 per year.