income-affordability-gap-smRents are out of Sight

Our service community, the people we see every day, the people who make our lives work, by and large don’t make enough money to live in our community. Consider our kids’ teachers and classroom aides, our hairdressers, dog walkers, babysitters and gardeners, paramedics, restaurant workers, administrative assistants and receptionists.

What about a family of 4? An average 2-bedroom apartment in Marin will cost them $3184 a month. According to Federal guidelines, 30% of gross household income is considered “affordable” for housing costs; anything over that will burden a family in terms of paying for food, healthcare, transportation, school supplies and so on. This family would need to earn $10,613/month, dedicating $38,208 of their annual salary to RENT AN APARTMENT.

Let’s say the mom is a nursing assistant and the dad is a paramedic; together they might earn about $97,000 a year. At the 30% threshold, that means they can afford to pay $2425 for rent. If they take that 2 BR apartment, they’ll have to scrimp on other necessities, never mind being able to save any money for a down payment on a house of their own.

And by the way, if that paramedic and nursing assistant decide it’s not worth the sacrifice to live in Marin, chances are in an emergency they won’t be able to get to work here, when we need them the most.

Just another reason to “bother” about affordable housing.