Maryland places fifth on a list of most expensive states for housing, according to an article in Monday’s Baltimore Business Journal. The article references the 2013 Renter Wage report, issued by nonprofit organization National Low Income Housing Coalition. The report sets out to determine the fair market rental price for a two-bedroom apartment in each area, and then determines the minimum household earnings needed in order to afford rent and utilities, without spending more than 30% of income on housing. For Maryland, the Fair Market Rent is $1,273 per month, meaning a monthly income of $4,242 would be necessary to afford this rent within the given parameters. Assuming a 40 hour work week, 52 weeks per year, this equates to a housing wage of $24.47 per hour. The estimated average hourly rate for Maryland workers is only $15.06, leaving a gap of $9.41 per hour. This means that the average Maryland household needs one-and-a-half fulltime jobs in order to be able to afford rent.
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While the gap is somewhat smaller, Baltimore placed second behind only Washington, DC on the list of most expensive areas, as the Business Journal article points out. In Baltimore, the housing wage is $24.06 per hour, and the estimated average hourly rate is $18.41, creating a $5.65 per hour gap. This means that a worker could afford a rent of no more than $957 per month in order to avoid spending more than 30% of their income on housing.
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