TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Can you afford to live where you live? In Florida, it depends on what city, and how big of a place you want. According to a new report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, to afford an average apartment in the state, a Floridian needs to work at least 2.6 full time jobs at the state’s minimum wage. The same is true in Tampa.

It’s no secret that housing prices have risen more than expected during the COVID-19 pandemic, sometimes dramatically. However, some areas are more expensive than others, and the high costs of living push affordability out of reach. NLIHC’s yearly report, to that effect, is called “Out of Reach.

In Florida, NLIHC reports to earn enough to live in a “modest one bedroom rental home” at what’s called a Fair Market Rent, or FMR, residents would need to work 86 hours at the state minimum wage. As of 2021, the minimum wage in Florida is $10 per hour.

At the wages in 2021, workers would have had to work 93 hours to afford the same.

“The report also calculates the ‘Housing Wage’ a full-time worker must earn to afford a rental home without spending more than 30% of their income on housing costs,” NLIHC said in a statement with the release of the 2022 report. “This year’s national Housing Wage is $25.82 per hour for a modest two-bedroom home at fair market rent and $21.25 per hour for a modest one-bedroom home.”

An additional factor which complicates the issue of housing affordability is how NLIHC and HUD define the cost of living, and the burdens it may place on a family. NLIHC uses a two-bedroom rental price model when determining affordability. To that effect, the Out of Reach report focuses on affordability for a two-bedroom housing wage.

Those browsing available homes will be able to tell you the obvious, houses aren’t built with just one bedroom. Apartments, however, do come in that size.

Still, for the second time in as many years, NLIHC said their report showed “that in no state, metropolitan area, or county can a full-time minimum-wage worker afford a modest two-bedroom rental home,” nor can they afford “modest one-bedroom apartments in 91% of U.S. counties.”

NLIHC said the national rent increases “have made affording and maintaining housing even more difficult for the lowest income renters.” The organization said on average, rent rose 18% between the beginning of 2021 and 2022.

To afford a two-bedroom home in Florida, a resident would need to make $26.38 per hour, essentially 106 hours of work per week at $10 per hour for the state’s minimum wage. For a one-bedroom, it’s $21.57 per hour. To afford a studio apartment or “no-bedroom” home, the average Floridian would need to make at least $19.41 per hour to only pay 30% of their income on rent or housing.

The idea of FMR is based on what the federal government estimates the cost of living for an area to be. Those numbers, calculated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, are used to estimate benefits for housing provided to welfare beneficiaries, low-income families, and even veterans in need of a helping hand after serving their country.

HUD defines a cost-burdened family as one that pays more than 30% of their income for housing. The 30% is also how the amount of contribution for the assistance vouchers is calculated. For families that are cost-burdened, housing costs might provide additional challenges when it comes to paying for other necessities like groceries, clothes, transport, and medical care.

HUD reports Florida’s FMR levels are priced between $617 and $1,332. Areas like Tampa ($1,110) and Miami ($1,332) and Jacksonville ($995) for a one-bedroom apartment. RentData.org reports Florida’s overall FMR for a one-bedroom apartment is $864. The Out of Reach report for Florida said the average FMR for a two-bedroom is $1,372 each month. About 2.7 million households rent in the state.

As previously reported, HUD assistance is used to provide housing to “the working poor, minorities, Native Americans, people with disabilities, people with AIDS, the elderly, the homeless.” For U.S. military veterans receiving assistance for housing, there’s a separate program operated by both HUD and the VA called HUD-VASH to provide funding to former soldiers.

The beneficiaries receive their benefits based on FMR calculations by the federal government.

When it comes to the actual rent costs, or at least the asking prices listed to rent, the numbers tell a different story.

The problem with the way the voucher values are calculated, using FMR, is that the price of housing in Florida is above FMR. Rental data updated monthly from a variety of real estate companies show the price to rent even a studio apartment in the U.S., and in Florida, is higher than the FMR.

According to ApartmentList’s latest rental report on Florida, the average rent price for a one-bedroom in the state is up 18.3% compared to the year before. In Tampa, the prices are listed at $1,466 for a one-bedroom and $1,809 for a two-bedroom. Prices have increased seven months in a row. Comparatively, ApartmentList said the national average for a two-bedroom was $1,358 per month.

While some workers and families can trim down spending to account for higher costs, it’s the residents who receive assistance to pay for housing that are kept from securing shelter.

“In Florida, the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,372. In order to afford this level of rent and utilities — without paying more than 30% of income on housing — a household must earn $4,572 monthly or $54,870 annually,” NLIHC reported.

The average monthly income in Florida was $4,488, according to ZipRecruiter. While inflation continues to push prices for everything higher, even as the cost of gasoline starts to fall, wages have not kept up and housing expenses continue to rise.