FONT & AUDIO
Ever wonder what the real wages are in Newberg and Dundee?
To rent a two-bedroom in Newberg a person must earn in excess of $24 per hour. Those folks wishing to rent a home or apartment in Dundee will need to earn at least $24.43 per hour.
That is the finding of the Low Income Housing Coalition, a nonprofit Washington, D.C. public policy coalition that looked at the gap between renters' wages and the cost of housing in its Out of Reach 2017 report.
The group defined affordability as spending no more than 30 percent of gross income on rent. If an individual or family is paying more than 50 percent of their income on rent, they are considered severely burdened, according to the report.
The group found that the average worker in Oregon who earns $14.84 per hour can afford a rental of $771 per month. However, the average one-bedroom apartment is $839 a month; $1,028 for a two-bedroom apartment.
Newberg's prices are a bit higher than much of the rest of the state: an individual would need to earn $24.04 per hour ($46,156 annually for a full-time job) to afford a two-bedroom apartment listed at $1,250 per month and $20.38 ($39,126 annually) for a one-bedroom apartment listed at $1,060 per month.
Newberg's median household income is $56,525 annually, meaning if there is a single breadwinner in the home the family couldn't afford to rent an apartment, even if they had a full-time job that paid above-average wages.
The reality is even bleaker: Acccording to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average employee works roughly 34.4 hours per week, further deteriorating the ability to rent an apartment.
To live in Dundee requires an individual to earn a minimum of $24.43 per hour in order to rent a two-bedroom apartment for $1,260 per month and $20.58 per hour for a one-bedroom at $1,070 per month.
According to the report, a worker who earns the state's minimum wage of $10.25 an hour, if he or she works at least 63 hours a week, can afford a one-bedroom apartment for $533 per month; a two-bedroom apartment would require a worker to average 77 hours a week.
Oregon is the 18th highest in the nation in how much wages a worker must earn to rent an apartment, according to the report, with 39 percent of the population renting rather than buying property.
What does this mean? The studies show that nationally, the high cost of rental housing resulted in more than 11.2 million severely cost-burdened households spending more than half of their incomes on housing. More than 20 million live in housing poverty, meaning that they cannot afford to meet basic needs such as medical care, transportation and food.
A contributing factor is the strong demand in the rental housing market. The report shows a 26.5 percent increase of renters from 2006 to 2016. In the meantime, homeownership rate dropped from 68.8 percent to 63.4 percent. This means that the demand for rental housing will continue to rise and the study predicts an additional 4.7 million people will become renters by 2025.
First Federal awards grants to area nonprofits
First Federal awarded grants to six Yamhill Country nonprofits as a part of its community giving program. The Blanchet House of Hospitality, Henderson House, McMinnville Area Habitat for Humanity, McMinnville Lion Club, Tilikum Center for Retreats and Outdoor Ministries, and Yamhill-Carlton FFA Alumni Association were recipients of the grants.
The combined total in grant awards was $14,150. First Federal's next grant deadline will be June 30. Applications are available online at https://bit.ly/1fIEewf.
For more information, call Pam Watts at 503-435-3214.
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