Nebraska renters must earn almost $17 per hour to afford rent, and while pandemic relief funding will help, federal infrastructure investment in affordable rental housing is critical.
Over one third of all households in Nebraska rent their homes. In order to afford a modest, two-bedroom apartment in Nebraska, renters working full-time must earn $16.91 per hour. This is Nebraska’s Housing Wage, revealed in a national report released last week. The report, Out of Reach, was released by our partner the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), a nationwide research and advocacy organization.
This year, the release of the Out of Reach report comes a year and a half into a devastating pandemic, which has created job and housing instability for Nebraska’s low-income individuals and families. Even prior to the pandemic, more than 7.6 million extremely low-income renters in the U.S. were already spending more than half of their limited income on housing costs, sacrificing other necessities to do so. For individuals and families living on a fixed income due to disabilities or other issues, the situation is especially precarious.
In Nebraska, someone working at the state minimum wage of $9 per hour must have 1.5 full-time jobs or work 59 hours per week to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment. They must have almost 2 full-time jobs or work 75 hours per week to afford a two-bedroom apartment.
In Nebraska, lawmakers must prioritize using a portion of the $1 billion in discretionary federal funding from the passage of the American Rescue Plan for affordable rental housing development and other urgent housing needs for low-income families.
Out of Reach provides the Housing Wage and other housing affordability data for every state, metropolitan area, combined non-metropolitan area, and county in the country. Learn more and read the full report at https://reports.nlihc.org/oor.