How much do minimum wage earners have to work to afford a rental in Louisiana?

NEW ORLEANS — If you make minimum wage in Louisiana, you have to work 74 hours a week on average to afford a one-bedroom rental. In New Orleans, that number is even higher.

That’s according to the Out of Reach 2017 report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, which notes in its latest research that the $7.25 an hour federal minimum wage means renters in Louisiana will have to work 89 hours per week to afford a two-bedroom house or apartment. In the New Orleans metro area, you need to earn at least $18.54 an hour to afford a two-bedroom rental.

The report studies the gap between renters’ wages and the cost of renting, looking at the wage a worker must bring home to afford a modest rental home without spending more than 30 percent of his or her income on housing costs.

As staggering as the numbers in Louisiana are, the numbers are even higher nationwide. Here’s what the national averages are, according to the Housing Coalition:

A renter earning the federal minimum wage would need to work 117 hours per week to afford a two-bedroom rental home at the Fair Market Rent and 94.5 hours per week to afford a one-bedroom. In no state can a person working full-time at the federal minimum wage afford a two-bedroom apartment at the Fair Market Rent. In only 12 counties can a full-time worker earning the prevailing federal or state minimum wage afford a one-bedroom rental home.

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 34 percent of Louisiana residents are renters. Read more about the latest report here.