Analysis shows El Paso has smaller-than-average renter wage gap

El Paso News

FILE – In this Oct. 20, 2020 file photo, a man walks in front of a For Rent sign in a window of a residential property in San Francisco. The Biden administration on Friday, May 7, 2021, announced the allocation of $21.6 billion to provide emergency rental assistance to help prevent evictions of people who lost jobs during the pandemic. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The expiration of the national moratorium on evictions sparked renewed attention on how the COVID-19 pandemic is straining the U.S. housing market.

A study from Smartest Dollar examined wage gaps across the U.S. and found the renter wage gap, which is the gap between renters’ wages and the amount needed to afford the median rent for a one-bedroom rental, has been exacerbated. 

While millions of Americans now face evictions, an analysis of renter wage gaps across the country found that El Paso is among cities with below-average renter wage gaps.

The study reports that the hourly wage needed for renters to afford a one-bedroom unit in the El Paso area is $14.20, while the estimated hourly wage for most renters is $10.14.

Researchers analyzed recent data from government agencies that include the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau to determine the renter wage gaps across the country.

The renter wage gap was calculated under the assumption that renters work full time and do not spend more than 30 percent of their gross income on rent.

Below is a summary of the data for the El Paso area compared to national statistics: 

El PasoNational
Renter wage gap: -28.6%Renter wage gap: -37%
Median one-bedroom rent: $738Median one-bedroom rent: $1.089
Hourly wage needed for a one-bedroom rental: $14.20Hourly wage needed for a one-bedroom rental: $20.94
Estimated hourly wage for renters: $10.14Estimated hourly wage for renters: $13.04
Share of households that are renter-occupied: 39.5%Share of households that are renter-occupied: 35.9%
Source: BLS; U.S. Census Bureau; HUD

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