Housing Numbers Suggest Minimum Wage May Not Cut It - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Housing Numbers Suggest Minimum Wage May Not Cut It

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DOVER, Del.- Working a minimum wage job in Delaware will not get you a two bedroom apartment that might be necessary for your family, according to the Delaware Housing Coalition.

The group released a report Friday that a minimum wage worker would need to work 2.6 jobs to meet the Delaware housing wage, or the hourly wage needed to afford a two bedroom apartment. The two bedroom apartment rate used is the fair market rate for housing in Delaware.

The data certainly makes life difficult for a single parent working for minimum wage.

Lillian Harrison works with a housing group that has offices in Sussex County and New Castle County. She focuses on families that are at risk for foreclosure.

"When most of my clients, if they're working, are making maybe $10 an hour, some not even $10 an hour," she said. "And forbid that they be on social security in which case they are only make 700 and some dollars a month."

The new numbers suggest the livable wage in Delaware, as it relates to housing, is $21.70 per hour.

Sarah Gilmure works for Pathways to Success. The organization focuses on kids and families.

"Healthy kids need to live in healthy environments, and 90 percent of our kids do not," she said.

Gilmure says it is related to the issue of parents being pulled every which way for multiple jobs.

"A parent needs to be able to spend time with their kid," she said. "And if they have to work two or three jobs just to pay rent, it absolutely does."

Groups like the Delaware Chamber of Commerce have taken a strong stand against a minimum wage hike saying it would cause more job loss.

Housing advocates alike agree there needs to be a shift in worker wages or cost of housing.

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