Households need to earn $22.87 per hour to be able to rent a decent two-bedroom apartment in the Los Angeles-Long Beach metropolitan area, up from $21.62 per hour a year earlier, said the National Low Income Housing Coalition.


The Washington, D.C.-based housing advocates' "Out of Reach 2005" study found that rent for a two-bedroom, fair-market-value apartment in L.A. is $1,189 per month, meaning the income needed to rent the apartment is $47,560 per year, or a wage of $22.87 per hour.


The median income of renter households in L.A. was $34,456 this year, which means most renters can't afford the two-bedroom apartment.


A worker earning minimum wage of $6.75 an hour would need to work 135 hours a week to afford the two-bedroom apartment, but that assumes the hypothetical worker would not earn the higher overtime rate of pay.


The fair market value is defined as the amount needed to pay gross rent rent plus utilities of privately owned, decent and safe non-luxury rental housing with suitable amenities.


In 2004, rent for a similar two-bedroom apartment in L.A. County was $1,124, so the income needed to rent the apartment was $44,960 per year. Median renter households earned income of $33,737 last year. A worker earning minimum wage of $6.75 an hour would need to work at least128 hours per week to be able to rent a two-bedroom apartment.


L.A.'s hourly wage needed to rent a two-bedroom apartment was higher than California as a whole, which rose to $22.09 per hour from $21.24 the year prior. At a fair market value rent of $1,149 per month, households must make $45,950 per year to rent a two-bedroom apartment. The median income of renter households in California was $38,804.


Minimum wage workers in the state had to work at least 131 hours per week to be able to afford the rent on a two-bedroom fair market value apartment, up from 126 hours in 2004, the study said.

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