Housing in Pennsylvania breaks the bank

    Pennsylvania ranks 31st in the cost of rental housing compared to other states, according to a report released today based on Census data. According to the national report, a Pennsylvania family needs to earn about $15 per hour to afford rent and utilities for a two bedroom apartment. That’s up 40-percent since 2000.

    Pennsylvania ranks 31st in the cost of rental housing compared to other states, according to a report released today based on Census data. According to the national report, a Pennsylvania family needs to earn about $15 per hour to afford rent and utilities for a two bedroom apartment. That’s up 40-percent since 2000.

    Listen:
    [audio: reports20090414housing.mp3]

    Rent and utilities for a two-bedroom apartment in Pennsylvania run on average about $100 a month higher than the average working-class renter can afford.

    That’s according to Liz Hersh, Executive Director of the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania, which is releasing the report with a Washington, D-C-based housing advocacy group.

    Hersh: People will make tough choices. They’ll either end up in a unit that’s smaller than they really need, or they’ll live in a place that’s really in not in very good shape, or they’ll move farther out where the prices might be a little bit lower and then the cost of transportation more than makes up the difference of what they may save in rent.

    The Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania supports the creation of a Housing Trust Fund to finance housing development, rehabilitation and preservation for lower-income families.

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