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Advocacy & Public Policy

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Affordable Housing for Low-Income Families

Affordable Housing for Low-Income Families

In Pennsylvania, the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom apartment is $950. In order to afford this level of rent and utilities — without paying more than 30% of income on housing — a household must earn $3,167 monthly or $38,000 annually. Assuming a 40-hour work week, 52 weeks per year, this level of income translates into an hourly Housing Wage of:
$18.27 per hour

The State's Minimum Wage is $7.25

Average Renter Wage is $13.80

2-Bedroom Housing Wage is $18.27

Number of Renter Households is 1,511,506

Percent Renters are 30%

In order to afford a 2-bedroom unit at fair market rent, a household will need to work 101 hours per week at minimum wage. Therefore, a household in PA will need 2.5 full-time jobs at minimum wage in order to afford a 2-debroom unit.

The most expensive counties in PA to live in are Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties where the hourly wage needed to afford a 2-bedroom unit needs to be $23.27

CAAP supports the resources and efforts provided by the PA Housing Finance Agency (PHFA). The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency works to provide affordable homeownership and rental apartment options for senior adults, low- and moderate-income families, and people with special housing needs. Through its carefully managed mortgage programs and investments in multifamily housing developments, PHFA also promotes economic development across the state. Since its creation by the legislature in 1972, PHFA has generated more than $12.6 billion of funding for nearly 164,000 single-family home mortgage loans, helped fund the construction of 129,322 rental units, and saved the homes of nearly 48,600 families from foreclosure. PHFA programs and operations are funded primarily by the sale of securities and from fees paid by program users, not by public tax dollars.

PHFA is a state-affiliated agency. Their employees do not participate in the state pension program and do not participate in the Commonwealth's employee benefit programs. PHFA's programs and operations are funded through the income they generate through investment activity, through program fees and through financing programs. As a mission-driven agency providing affordable housing products to the citizens of the Commonwealth, PHFA offers programs and administers funds on behalf of state, federal government, and tax related programs and they receive fees to deliver these programs.

More information about PHFA can be found at