Washington, D.C. renting costs among highest in nation, report says

The fair market rent for two-bedroom apartments in Washington is north of $1,500/month. (Photo: Flickr/davetron5000)

For many Americans, finding an affordable place to call home is becoming increasingly out of reach, according to a new study.

This is especially true locally, where a two-bedroom apartment at fair market value is unaffordable for workers earning minimum wage in the District of Columbia, according to the Out of Reach 2012 report, published by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

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In fact, Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia all rank in the top ten states where people have to earn the most per hour just to afford a two-bedroom apartment at what they call the fair market rate.

In all 50 states, a two-bedroom apartment is unaffordable at fair market value for those earning minimum wage of $7.25 and hour.

The District eclipses that number by a long shot. The report says that an individual living in D.C. must be earning $60,240 to afford the market rate of a two-bedroom apartment, valued at $1,506. That equates to an hourly rate of $28.96 per hour.

That means that in Washington, a person has to work a staggering 140 hours per week just to make rent at minimum wage.

The statistics are based on a person working 40 hours per week, 52 weeks per year, and putting the average rate of 30 percent of their income toward rent.

Rank State FMR Income needed Hourly Hours/week* 1 Hawai'i $1,647 $65,889 $31.68 175 2 D.C. $1,506 $60,240 $28.96 140 5 Maryland $1,291 $51,637 $24.83 137 9 Virginia $1,054 $42,143 $20.26 112 52 Puerto Rico $514 $20,551 $9.88 55

* - Hours per week while earning minimum wage

Maryland, which ranks fifth on the list, boasts a fair market rent value of $1,291, meaning that a worker has be earning about $24.83 per hour to afford living expenses. In Virginia, which ranks ninth, the wage comes out to $20.26 per hour.

The greater D.C. metro area, which includes the District, Arlington and Alexandria, ranks 10th as a jurisdiction as the most expensive metropolitan area to rent in. WAMU's DCentric blog points out that the Washington metro area jumped one spot into the top ten this year.

You can read the full report here.