Last week the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a D.C.-based research and advocacy group for affordable housing, released a report detailing the Housing Wage and other housing affordability data for all 50 states. The report is called Out of Reach 2013, and the North Carolina Housing Coalition will attest that for many renters in the state, affordable housing is out of their grasp.
As defined in the report, the Housing Wage is "the estimated full-time hourly wage a household must earn to afford a decent rental unit at [federal Housing and Urban Development-estimated] Fair Market Rent, while spending no more than 30% of their income on housing costs."
The Housing Wage for a two-bedroom unit at Fair Market Rent in North Carolina—$14.17—is below the 2013 National Housing Wage of $18.79 (and well below that of densely populated states like California and New York). But according to the N.C. Housing Coalition, high rents, especially in urban areas such as the Triangle, make it difficult for low-income renters to find affordable housing in a market that they are increasingly being squeezed out of.