JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It's a harsh reality that many Americans are facing.
The cost of housing is getting less affordable, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition's annual Out of Reach report.
In Florida, someone making minimum wage, $8.25 an hour, would have to work 84 hours a week to afford an average, modest one-bedroom home, which rents for about $898 a month. The report shows Floridians working at minimum wage would have to work 104 hours a week to afford a two-bedroom rental, which costs about $1,118 a month.
Based on the 2018 report's Housing Wage, Florida is the 16th most expensive state -- up from 17th in 2017.
To compare some Northeast Florida counties:
- In Duval County, Jacksonville residents need an annual income of $37,880, or an hourly wage of $18.21, to afford the cost of an average two-bedroom apartment -- about $947 a month.
- In Nassau, St. Johns and Clay counties, an annual income of $37,880 is also needed to afford a two-bedroom apartment.
- In Baker County, an annual income of $29,640 , or an hourly wage of $14.25, is needed to afford the cost of a two-bedroom apartment, which rents for about $741 a month.
On Wednesday, News4Jax spoke with some local families who said they weren't surprised by the numbers.
Shanda Jenkins lived on the streets for years and said getting back on her feet was difficult, especially finding an affordable place to live.
"I was homeless on the street and I ended up pregnant," Jenkins said, with her 3-year-old daughter, April, by her side. "I swore I would do what I needed to do to figure out what I needed to do to get where I’m at today."
Jenkins said the Sulzbacher Center led her to Ability Housing, a nonprofit that provides affordable housing to low-income families.
Jenkins said it’s no surprise that this year’s Out of Reach report shows that affordable housing is out of reach for the average renter and millions of low-wage workers, seniors and people with disabilities living on fixed incomes.
"It's a very big struggle, which is why Ability -- they go by my income, on what I make," she said. "So without them being there behind me to help me be able to afford the place that I have, I probably would still be on the street."
Jenkins said she's thankful for the help of Ability Housing, but is looking forward to one day being able to afford a home for her and her daughter on her own.
Click here to learn more about Ability Housing.