Many rental households, which make up one-third of all households in the nation, face ever-increasing rental costs that make it more and more difficult to afford decent housing. Housing is considered affordable if a household spends no more than 30% of household income on housing costs.
Each year, the federal government sets a Fair Market Rent (FMR) for each county. The FMR is a measure of gross rent, which includes shelter rent plus the cost of all tenant-paid utilities, except telephones, cable or satellite television service, and Internet service. It refers to the amount of money a rental would command if it were available for rent.
The Housing Wage refers to the hourly wage a household must earn at a single full-time job to afford the FMR for a two-bedroom unit at 30% of household income.
In Montana, for the years 2011-2015. . .
In Montana in 2012. . .
- The Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom rental was $655 per month.
- Those with a household income of at least $26,181 per year could afford a two-bedroom rental at the Fair Market Rent.
- The housing wage for a two-bedroom unit was $12.59 per hour, which is the same as 1.6 full-time minimum-wage jobs.