Rhode Island ranks among the bottom for affordable rents nationwide. That’s according to a new report out from the National Low Income Housing Coalition – a D.C. based housing advocacy group.
Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless director Jim Ryczek said it takes nearly double the state’s minimum wage to comfortably afford the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment.
“When we have a population here who’s really stressed paying their monthly rent, and have to make really difficult choices about whether to pay utilities or pay the doctor’s bill or childcare for their kids, they get behind economically and they fall behind and they fall into our system, into the homeless system.”
Ryczek adds that affordable housing is needed to grow the state’s economy.
“If we’re looking to attract talent and skills to the state as we build our economy,” said Ryczek. “Those jobs are going to need a place to live. And so it’s going to be harder and harder to attract folks if we don’t have safe, affordable, nice places for them to be.”
All of the New England states ranked in the bottom 25 for affordable rentals according to the report.