Family-sized apartments out of reach for more Illinois residents: report

Families would have to earn at least $20 per hour to afford to rent the median apartment in the state.
June 19, 2019 12:00PM

(Credit: iStock)

(Credit: iStock)

Family-sized apartments are unaffordable for low-wage workers across Illinois, according to a new study.

Renters would have to earn at least $20.85 per hour, or just over $43,000 per year, in order to afford the cost of the state’s median two-bedroom apartment without paying more than a third of their income on rent, according to a study from Housing Illinois Action cited in Curbed.

The study is a sign of the increasing strain on family-sized units in the Chicago area, where most new apartment construction has focused on studio and one-bedroom apartments aimed at young professionals.

Chicago’s minimum wage is set to climb to $13 per hour on July 1, but the city’s cost of living is sharply higher than the rest of the state. The median price of a two-bedroom apartment in the city is $1,895, according to Zillow. Statewide the median rent is at $1,084.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot pledged when she took office last month to stem the city’s deepening affordable housing crisis, but so far she has not rolled out any new policies aimed at the issue.

The dwindling supply of affordable units has put momentum behind a political coalition trying to reverse a state law that bars rent control, an effort fiercely opposed by the real estate industry.

[Curbed] — Alex Nitkin