Apartment Living Becoming Unaffordable

Alex Degman, IRN
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Chicago 4, Getty Images, Garron Nicholls

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (IRN) – The cost of living continues to increase in Illinois, which is making it harder for some residents to afford rent.

The average so-called Housing Wage in Illinois is $16.78 per hour for a 40- hour work week, according to the group Housing Action Illinois. That’s the amount someone on average has to make to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment plus utilities.

The group’s policy director, Bob Palmer, says more state and federal support must be given to affordable housing programs. That’s why he supported the state income tax increase.

“If we didn’t have the tax increase… obviously the state continues to have budget problems,” he says. “There’s likely going to be cuts this year, but you know, if the tax increase hadn’t passed there’d be even more cuts.”

Palmer says making the wealthy and corporations pay a greater share of taxes would help shore up affordable housing programs.

In St. Louis the average so-called Housing Wage $15.23 per hour for a 40- hour work week

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