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

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.