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Affordable housing further out of reach for Hoosiers, according to new report

A lawn sign reads "Now Leasing."
Lauren Chapman
IPB News
Fourteen of Indiana's top 20 occupations has a median wage that is less than what's needed to afford a typical two-bedroom apartment in the state.

Affordable housing is further out of reach for Hoosiers, according to a new housing wage report released this week.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition and Prosperity Indiana’s report shows that it takes $22.07 per hour to afford a typical two-bedroom apartment statewide.

That’s $3.07 higher than last year. And Prosperity Indiana Senior Director of Policy and Strategy Andrew Bradley said wage growth hasn’t kept up.

“The average renter wage of $17.92 is only up 6 cents since last year,” Bradley said.

Fourteen of the state’s top 20 occupations now pay a median wage that’s less than what’s needed for a two-bedroom apartment — meaning 76 percent of the 1.1 million Hoosiers working in those occupations can’t afford such housing.

READ MORE: Advocates call for governor to create commission to address worsening housing crisis

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Bradley said addressing the problem will require solutions at all levels of government. He credited U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) for promoting several pieces of legislation to address the issue.

Bradley said solutions must also include the state empowering local communities to enact change.

“Right now, if you have a housing choice voucher from the federal government, landlords in your community are allowed to say, ‘Nope, that money’s not green here,’” Bradley said.

Bradley said Indiana’s worsening crisis is another reason for the governor to create a housing commission to address the issue.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.