Here's How Much You Need to Earn to Afford Rent in California

It is a known fact that California is one of the most expensive states to live in, and according to a new report, it takes three full-time minimum wage jobs to afford a two-bedroom rental home. 

The National Low Income Housing Coalition recently published an extensive report on the high cost of housing, breaking down just how much it takes to live comfortably in the Golden State.

2018 Rental Housing Wages

The numbers below represent the hourly wage a household in each state must earn in order to afford to rent a two-bedroom property at the state's fair market rent for less of 30 percent of their income. Click on each state for more information on the mean income per state.

Data: National Low Income Housing Coalition
Nina Lin/NBC

Californians need a hourly full-time wage of $32.68 to afford a two-bedroom rental home, according to the report published June 13. This figure makes California the second most expensive state, right behind Hawaii at $36.13 an hour.

On average, renters in California make an hourly wage of $21.50 an hour, which is 41.2 percent lower than the necessary hourly wage to afford the cost of living.

Statistics show that 119 work hours per week at minimum wage are needed to afford the same two-bedroom rental -- which is equal to three full-time minimum wage jobs.

Whether working a minimum wage job or not, the NLIHC calculated the necessary annual income of $67,976 annually to "afford this level of rent and utilities -- without paying more than 30 percent of income on housing," according to the report.

Even though making $30 an hour may seem steep to some, that number does not represent California entirely. The most expensive area within California is San Francisco, which has a housing wage of just over $60 an hour.

This report was not meant to scare Californians from leaving the state, but to promote awareness around the discrepancy between housing costs and hourly wages. 

"We have been producing this report for many years," Bob Wiener, Executive Director of California Coalition for Rural Housing, said. "We have such an imbalance between minimum wage -- which is supposed to raise to $15 an hour -- and housing costs." 

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