How much money do you have to earn in order to afford housing in Illinois?  The “housing wage” is $18.78 an hour – that’s what you’d have to earn, working 40 hours a week, to have 30 percent of your income cover the cost of a two-bedroom apartment statewide, according to the group Housing Action Illinois.
Policy director Bob Palmer says if people don’t make that wage, they spend more of their income on housing, and that’s trouble. “That definitely puts you at risk of homelessness, and it means you have very little money to spend on other things, like transportation, education, health care, and it’s very unlikely that you’re saving anything whatsoever,” he said.
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Palmer says people also will economize by moving more people into an apartment, but that might run afoul of their lease or city ordinances.
The price of rental housing, especially the most affordable units, continues to climb, the group says, at a rate faster than low and moderate incomes.
“Housing wage” by metropolitan area
Kendall County $22.52
Chicago-Naperville-Joliet $21.02
State of Illinois $18.78
Grundy County $18.04
Kankakee-Bradley $17.42
DeKalb County $16.81
Champaign-Urbana $15.31
Bloomington-Normal $14.96
Danville $14.25
Bond County $14.12
Moline-Rock Island $13.65
Decatur $13.19
Non-Metro Ares/Rural $12.52
Cape Girardeau-Jackson $12.23
Macoupin County $12.13
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