Rental Rates are Out of Reach for Michigan Residents


June 13, 2018
Contact: Jessica AcMoody, Senior Policy Specialist, CEDAM
517.485.3588 |

Contact: Eric Hufnagel, Executive Director, Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness
517.853.3885 |

Rental Rates are Out of Reach for Michigan Residents
Michiganders must earn $16.25 per hour to afford a Fair Market Rent two-bedroom apartment

Lansing, MI—In order to afford a modest, two-bedroom apartment at fair market rent in Michigan, renters need to earn $16.25 per hour. This is Michigan’s 2018 Housing Wage, revealed in a national report released today. The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan (CEDAM) and the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness (MCAH) jointly released the report, Out of Reach: The High Cost of Housing.

Every year, Out of Reach reports on the Housing Wage (the hourly wage a full-time worker must earn to afford a modest and safe rental home without spending more than 30% of income on housing costs) for all states, counties, metropolitan areas and ZIP codes in the country. The report highlights the gap between what renters earn and what it costs to afford a home at Fair Market Rent.

“The housing market is tough,” said Eric Hufnagel, executive director of the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness. “Fewer units and higher costs are pushing more and more people to the point where they may become homeless.”

Working at the minimum wage of $9.25 in Michigan, a wage earner must have 1.8 full-time jobs or work 73 hours per week to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment. A wage earner must have 1.4 full-time jobs at minimum wage or work 57 hours per week to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment at fair market rate.

“Rather than threatening the housing stability of families struggling to keep roofs over their heads, Congress must invest in expanding housing solutions that provide stable homes for the lowest income people in our country,” said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

In addition to federal investment, funding at the state level is a critical solution to the housing crisis.

“One solution for Michigan is to appropriate funds to the Michigan Housing & Community Development Fund—currently an idle resource,” said Jessica AcMoody, senior policy specialist at CEDAM. “With adequate investment, we would see a dramatic increase in affordable housing across the state.”