Fannie and Freddie got bailed out Sunday, and yesterday the AP brings us the results of a Coldwell Banker study comparing home prices, adding more evidence to the hypothesis that the valuation of property in the US makes no sense. (8 of the 10 most expensive counties in the US are in CA. In the case of greatest variation, property in one San Diego suburb costs 13 times more than similar property in an Iowa suburb.)

But where, in all this mess (you may ask) are the 36 million US households that rent? Well, they’re (we’re) getting screwed too.

Released earlier this year (and receiving little to no press attention) was a yearly report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (Full disclosure: they gave me an award last year for a feature I wrote for the SF Chronicle) entitled Out Of Reach.

OOR is an interesting report. It compares average wages and rents in every county and metropolitan area in the US and calculates the amount of money a family must earn to afford an apartment.

Among other things, OOR establishes that the Housing Wage (the hourly wage that a full time worker must earn to afford a modest 2 bedroom in their area) was $17.32 nation wide, ranging from a low of $9.10 in Puerto Rico and a high of 29.02 in Hawaii. There is not a single city or county in the US where a full time worker earning the minimum wage could afford even a 1 bedroom apartment.

ColinAsher

ColinAsher

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