NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A National Low Income Housing Coalition study ranks Connecticut eighth in the country for highest housing wage. It shows a Connecticut resident has to make $24.29 an hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment, $15.14 more than Connecticut’s minimum wage of $9.15.
“It’s hard to find a good place to live,” said Danielle Pagan, a renter who makes makes minimum wage and is raising a two-year-old. “It is safe, but sometimes can get scary.”
Marci Mitchell rents an apartment in New Haven.
“They can definitely raise some salaries,” she said. “I don’t think they adjust for the cost of living in the area.”
“We don’t have the room in New Haven to have larger apartment buildings, so that creates opportunities for landlords and owners to raise rent prices,” said renter Barbara Banz.
Bridging the gap between wages and rent is an uphill battle for “Latinas United in Action.” The grassroots organization is calling on Connecticut’s leaders to fix the problem.
“I think the mind of the politicians are like just thinking of how businesses can survive in Connecticut. It is okay, but what about the people?” said John Lugo, a member of Latinas United in Action.
“Bring down the rent. Bring down the rent for us. Make it a little bit easier for the middle class people,” said Pagan.
In 2017, Connecticut’s minimum wage will rise to $10.10 an hour, but most agree that is still not enough with the cost of housing rising like it is.