In California, the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,354. In order to afford this level of rent and utilities – without paying more than 30% of income on housing – a household must earn $4,514 monthly or $54,168 annually. Assuming a 40-hour work week, 52 weeks per year, this level of income translates into a Housing Wage of $26.04.
In California, a minimum wage worker earns an hourly wage of $8.00. In order to afford the FMR for a two-bedroom apartment, a minimum wage earner must work 130 hours per week, 52 weeks per year. Or a household must include 3.3 minimum wage earners working 40 hours per week year-round in order to make the two-bedroom FMR affordable.
In California, the estimated mean (average) wage for a renter is $18.50. In order to afford the FMR for a two-bedroom apartment at this wage, a renter must work 56 hours per week, 52 weeks per year. Or, working 40 hours per week year-round, a household must include 1.4 workers earning the mean renter wage in order to make the two-bedroom FMR affordable.