It is easy to see someone who's homeless and think that there must be something wrong with that person. We often dismiss homelessness as being a symptom of mental illness or substance abuse.

In some cases this is true. In far too many others, it is due to the high costs of rent.

Rents are rising everywhere. They are getting out of reach for more and more Americans. Those who can afford rent are devoting higher percentages of their income to getting it paid.

According to an Out of Reach report, there is no state in the US where a full-time minimum wage worker can afford a modest two-bedroom rental home. in 91% of US counties, a full-time minimum wage worker cannot even afford a modest one-bedroom apartment

Here in San Angelo, the average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $1,150.  The average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment is actually less at $1.051. This means the average person would have to make slightly less than $20 an hour to afford the average rent on a 2-bedroom apartment in San Angelo.

That is much better than the average for Texas, where the average is $22.54/hr. Texas is 23rd in the Out of Reach ranking of rent costs per state.

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In the poll of The most expensive counties in Texas are all around Austin. There to afford a 2-bedroom apartment. the average person would have to earn $27.90/hr

That's over $58,000 a year.

The cheapest rents in Texas can be found in Hunt County, outside Dallas. The average rent for a 1-bedroom in Greenville in Hunt County is just $543 a month.

Overall, rents are more reasonable in Texas than in some of the states at the top of the Out of Reach report. You would need an average salary of over $40 an hour in Hawaii to afford modest rent. California and many northeastern states are also very high.

Given the rising costs of rent, when I see a homeless person, I always think how that could be me. There aren't many of us who could survive being without work for even a few months.



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