NEW REPORT: Dayton renters can’t afford apartments

Renters in the Dayton region on average earn too little to afford a decent two-bedroom apartment, according to a report released by affordable housing advocacy groups.

The average hourly wage earned by Dayton-area renters this year is $12.86, which is nearly $2 short of the wage need to afford the fair market rent of a two-bedroom apartment, according to a report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition and the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio.

Workers who shoulder high housing cost burdens often have to make difficult decisions, with potentially serious consequences, about whether to pay rent or fund basic necessities like health care or child care, experts says.

RELATED: Dayton apartment rents are increasing. Here’s why.

A lack of affordable housing in Dayton and elsewhere in Ohio is a threat to economic growth, said Bill Faith, the director of the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio.

“Just like home is essential for family stability,” he said, “housing is the foundation of our economy.”

Nearly 121,000 renter households are spread across the Dayton metro area, accounting for more than one-third of all households. The metro area includes Montgomery, Miami and Greene counties.

In the region, the fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $765, according to the new report.

RELATED: Dayton rent consumes too much income for some residents

That means renters would need to earn $30,600 to afford the region’s fair market rent, without their housing costs exceeding 30 percent of their income. That equates to about $14.71 per hour.

Households are considered cost burdened when too much of their income (31 percent or more) goes to housing.

Making $12.86 per hour, a renter ideally would not want to pay more than $669 for rent. But that’s $96 less than the fair market rent for a two-bedroom.

And all of this assumes that a renter is working 40 hours per week and is getting paid for all 52 weeks, which is not the case for everyone.

MORE: Here’s what it costs to rent 8 places in downtown Dayton

Some of the Dayton region's largest occupations do not pay the "housing wage" needed to afford modest, two-bedroom apartments, according to federal labor data reviewed by this news organization.

In the Dayton region:

  • Retail sales people on average earn $12.11 per hour (11,750 employees in Dayton area)
  • Registered nurses earn $32.28 per hour (11,670 employees)
  • Food preparation and service workers earn $10.46 per hour (11,500 employees)
  • Cashiers earn $9.99 per hour (8,980 employees)
  • Laborers and freight, stock and material movers earn $13.32 per hour (7,640 employees)
  • Waiters/waitresses earn $11.19 per hour (6,920 employees)
  • Office clerks earn 16.55 per hour (6,640 employees)
  • Janitors/cleaners (not maids or housekeeping) earn $13.25 per hour (6,190 employees)
  • Stock clerks and order fillers earn $12.82 per hour (5,910 employees)
  • Customer service representatives earn $16.71 per hour (5,480 employees)
  • Nursing assistants earn $13.29 per hour (5,430 employees)

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