Study: New Canaan Rental Rates Out Of Range Of Minimum Wage Workers

  • Comments (15)
A recent study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition says most renters in Fairfield County have to earn three times the minimum wage to make ends meet.
A recent study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition says most renters in Fairfield County have to earn three times the minimum wage to make ends meet. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Flickr User, sean dreilinger

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – Renters in Fairfield County need to earn about three times the minimum wage to keep a roof over their heads, said a recent study from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

The study looked at the average cost of two-bedroom apartments and what a person has to earn to afford them in different metropolitan areas around the state. There are three metro areas in Fairfield County: Bridgeport, Danbury and Stamford-Norwalk.

On average, a two-bedroom apartment in Connecticut rents for $1,208 a month. To be able to afford this and utilities without paying more than 30 percent of their income, a renter needs a household income of $4,025 monthly or $48,304 annually, the study says.

The minimum wage in Connecticut is $8.25 an hour. That means, in order to afford the average two-bedroom apartment, a person earning minimum wage must work 113 hours a week, 52 weeks a year. The average renter earns $15.71 an hour in Connecticut.

The most expensive area in the county is the Stamford-Norwalk metro area, which includes Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Weston, Westport and Wilton. For a two-bedroom apartment in Stamford-Norwalk, a renter needs to earn $31.69 an hour to pay the average rent of $1,648 a month. That means there needs to be 3.8 full-time minimum wage incomes coming into the household.

In the Danbury metro area, which includes Ridgefield and Redding, a renter needs to earn $26.62 an hour to pay the average rent of $1,384 a month for a two-bedroom apartment. Or there needs to be 3.2 full-time minimum wage incomes coming into the household.

In the Bridgeport area, which covers Easton and Fairfield, a renter needs to earn $23.69 an hour to pay the average rent of $1,230 a month for a two-bedroom apartment. That means there needs to be 2.9 full-time minimum wage incomes coming into the household.

  • 15
    Comments

Comments (15)

Well said Ken. The town made my life a nightmare by granting a change in use across the street. Now my house will never sell, and I am stuck living in a place I hate because P&Z thinks it's fun to allow massive businesses with no parking on a residential street.

Progressives will say: Raise the minimum wage to $40/h, and problem's solved.

First, given the average wages in Fairfield County are well above minimum wage, the stats talking about how many multiples of minimum wage one needs to make rent in Fairfield County is not all that relevant. (You're not meant to be a family breadwinner at minimum wage in this county. Most of the minimum wage earners would probably be teens working a part-time job at a local burger joint or Starbucks or something. If you look at the posted want ads for nannies and tutors, even those rates are something like $20/hour or more!)

Second, who says everyone is entitled to a 2-bedroom apartment!? In NYC, you'd be lucky to get a one-room studio for $1600/month. If you can't afford a 2-bedroom, then look at 1-bedrooms or studios. My first apartment out of college was a tiny one-room studio in New Haven for $800/month. It would've been ridiculous for me to expect society at large to owe me a 2-bedroom apartment or something. What utter nonsense.

1) A very skewed study from a very biased source.

2) Min wage is a starter/lowest level item

3) Most studies show that the number on households headed by a minimum wage earner is extremely low. Usually min wage earner is part of a household headed by someone making much more....a teenager....a low education spouse. In fact many min wage earners work at more than one job.

1) A very skewed study from a very biased source.

2) Min wage is a starter/lowest level item

3) Most studies show that the number on households headed by a minimum wage earner is extremely low. Usually min wage earner is part of a household headed by someone making much more....a teenager....a low education spouse. In fact many min wage earners work at more than one job.

sorry....balky mouse

Paul, $1.25 in 1962 is less than $10 in 2013 adjusted purely for inflation. Not sure how you are calculating that. There was no Connecticut Income Tax in 1964, so that is a big jump.

I find a flaw in this study to begin with. Why would someone at the LOWEST income bracket be able to afford the AVERAGE rental, which I must presume includes luxury apartments in the calculation.

This state has market distorting affordable housing regulations which punish municipalities that don't maintain over 10% housing that is affordable by deed restriction. In Norwalk, we have 11.56% deed restricted and the actual figure is over 25%, all of which would be affordable to a minimum wage earning family, if there is such a thing.

Isn't it better to create and provide the opportunity for people to earn their success? We need to care for the truly disabled and sick, but instead of enabling more people to live at the bottom, reforming the tax code and allowing people to work, create and build and earn their success, that is the path to a true solution.

Dave silver is $29 per ounce
http://www.kitco.com/charts/livesilver.html

Sorry, 5 1964 Quarters are worth just over $26 ...

http://www.coinflation.com/coins/1932-1964-Silver-Washington-Quarter-Value.html

You are correct that 1964 was the last year that quarters were made partially of real silver and the numbers you use are approximately correct.

Your argument loses water after that. For the .9 Troy Ounces of Silver in 5 quarters to hold this value, they would have needed to have been stored, not invested or saved, thereby losing any interest and compounding over the 50 years intervening.

I'm not going to calculate what that would have resulted in given fluctuating interest rates, but even assuming a modest return likely to have been earned in a savings account, it would be worth more than $26.

Given your logic, I can swap out the silver in those quarters for a share of GE stock or some other more or less fungible type of compensation and it would more egregious. No one was paid in just quarters, and no one (outside of the Hunt Brothers, maybe) is sitting on vast stores of silver for 50 years. You miss the point of the article.

Uh, please find me that 2 bedroom in Stamford that is 1,600... Does not exist. A decent 1 bedroom can be found in the range and a studio runs around 1,100. These numbers must be from a few years back.

How was it decided that 30% of total income is the ideal level for rent + utilities?

In 1964 the minimum wage was 5 silver quarters an hour and a person could live on it. The same 5 silver quarters today is worth $28 dollars an hour. Foolish people do not realize that the private Federal Reserve bank has been stealing their money through an invisible tax called inflation. Since 2007 the Fed has more then tripled the money supply and the result of this when velocity picks up will be the collapse of the dollar.

When people finally understand this they will take to the streets with pitchforks and will then realize why the federal government through the Nazi homeland security has bought over 1.6 billion rounds of ammo and 2700 armored tanks to use against its own people.

The only answer at this point is to grow food and get out of the way. There is no way to stop the collapse ... the system needs to reset ... just accept that you are going to lose all you have ever worked for and try to survive.

Sorry for the bad news but its the truth.

Why not publish the cost to buy and maintain (both maintenance and taxes) as part of the "study" too. Most likely because doing so doesn't fit the narrative. This and other papers do a disservice publishing an article like this as it really doesn't inform anyone of anything of substance.

Two things. Minimum wage is intended as a starting point, not an adults salary. Two, the issue in Norwalk & CT as a whole is taxes. Nobody could afford to have a rental property catering to minimum wage workers. It costs many of us $1000 a month rent to the city for what we bought and paid for. If people cant afford the rent here they can leave, but those who bought homes & cant afford the taxes are in a different boat all together. Lets worry about overtaxation before trying to paint landlords as greedy.

Ken you are right its not the landlords ... and you are also right that you don't own your land you just rent it from the government. Norwalk is intent on paying off its political contributers by giving them projects like a new firehouse which is no more then a glorified garage for trucks ... to many fingers are dipping in the sauce and soon there wont be any left.