San Luis Obispo County

Nearly $30 an hour in wages needed to pay for local rents

Many residents call new study 'depressing'

Cost of Living

A new study shows local workers need close to $30 an hour in many cities to pay the rent on a two-bedroom apartment.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition says the data is based on 30-percent of a workers monthly salary allocated for rent.  Many residents who spoke to NewsChannel 3 said they often spend 50 to 60 percent of their wages on rent and the rest on other living expenses.

Often, they say, their financial ends do not meet, and they have to cut out medical, travel and entertainment expenses.

A local banker, Rosio Diaz, says one paycheck a month goes to specifically for her rent.

"It's sad now that I think about it," said Diaz. She is hoping for a promotion and more money in the future to help ease the stress on her budget.   

Lisa Plowman with the Coastal Housing Coalition, a nonprofit housing organization, said she was not surprised by the high wages needed to get local apartments.  It's something analysts have seen for years.  

Plowman said it also forces many people to leave.  "So you end up losing a lot  families, young people and that makes for a less vital community," said Plowman.

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