In Dallas, You Need to Make $29,000 Per Year to Afford a Decent Apartment

Categories: Housing

CrappyApartment.jpg
Dustin Gilbert
Look hard enough and you should be find a quality place like this for $722 per month.
The Washington Post's Wonk Blog yesterday published a county-by-county map of what a worker needs to make to afford a decent one-bedroom apartment.

In Dallas (and Collin, and Denton County) the figure is $13.88 per hour, assuming 40-hour weeks and a full 52 weeks of pay. Annually, that comes out to about $29,000 per year.

That figure is based on the county's "fair market rent," or FMR, a metric calculated each year by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for determining Section 8 payments. The FMR is designed to reflect a market price for decent, middle-of-the-road housing, the cost of basic utilities included.

In the Dallas area, the FMR for a one-bedroom apartment is $722. For a two-bedroom, it's $913.

How much workers need to make to afford those rents was calculated by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, which assumed that 30 percent of a person's income should go toward housing costs.

Housing in Dallas is slightly more expensive than the state average -- Texas has the 22nd highest housing costs in the country, according to the NLIHC -- but is cheaper than Austin, Houston, and urban areas on either cost.

So says the data. Good luck finding an apartment and utilities for $722 a month.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.


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37 comments
WhyDontYouJoinNAMBLA
WhyDontYouJoinNAMBLA

So if the average rent is less than the average income it would seem to be a pretty good situation to me. 

lebowski300
lebowski300

Good luck finding a glaring grammatical error in the very first sentence. Oh, right. You won't need any luck for that. #jeez

mrosemoran
mrosemoran

If you live in the suburbs it is doable. I made $10 an hour while in graduate school and was able to pay for half of a two bedroom apt in Irving and then afterwards in Lewisville. Sure I had a strict budget but it is possible.

tonyruggio
tonyruggio

I've seen decent  one-bedroom apartments in North Dallas for less than 600/month. It's rare, but they're there. 

Guess it depends on your definition of "decent." I'm assuming this article and this study's definition is more upscale than what most people define as decent. 

Tim.Covington
Tim.Covington

As others said, get a roommate and/or look for an apartment complex with less bells and whistles. It can be done. 

Shortly after my wife and I got married, we split a 3 bedroom place with another couple. It saved us a ton of money while I was restarting my career.

paulpsycho78
paulpsycho78

shhh... no one that matters makes under 30k a year

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

LOL. My first apartment in Milwaukee looked a LOT like that picture, only not quite as nice.

In 1989 my rent for that 1 bdrm. place was $185 / mo.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@lebowski300

The accounting isn't all that great, either.

$13.88/hr comes to $27,780 per year - not $29k.  In payroll accounting classes, they teach you to calculate it based on a 2000 hr. year (50 weeks times 40 hours).


tonyajones711
tonyajones711

@tonyruggio  I have the feeling that people here expect to live in The Village or the Avery or something.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@tonyruggio

Starting salary for a new, college graduate in just about any field is upwards of $40k.  $29k is what you pay a semi-skilled or entry-level worker with little or no education.

The take-away lesson here is that if you want to live in a nice place, you need a good education and experience in your field.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@everlastingphelps

a "roommate" in a 1 bedroom apartment?

oh. literally a ROOMmate....yikes.

hope thay don't snore...

lebowski300
lebowski300

@bvckvs 2080 is the generally accepted working hours in a year. Score another for bvckvs genius.

jt.turner71
jt.turner71

Actually it's $28,870 if you take 13.88 x 40 hrs x 52 weeks per year

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

@bvckvs  Wait a minute.

No comment about how this is terrible and how it is all the republican's fault?

mdd0124
mdd0124

@bvckvs @tonyruggio  starting salary for a college graduate is upwards of $40k? You're kidding, right? I hope you're kidding.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@bvckvs "Starting salary for a new, college graduate in just about any field is upwards of $40k. "


And what percentage of college graduates actually find jobs in their field, instead of working minimum wage food service jobs just to pay their student loans?


Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

@bvckvs  When was the last time you looked for an entry level job?  $40k is optimistic.  Now it's more get a good education and make less than $40k or work contract with no benefits.

Tipster1908
Tipster1908

@mavdog @everlastingphelpsUm, the price of a two bedroom is clearly listed right after that. So for only slightly more money you split the cost in half. It seems pretty simple to me.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@mavdog @everlastingphelps  Two bedrooms in Dallas cost about 25% more.  Utility changes are nominal (water is split with the whole bldg).  That means you pay half of 125%, or 63%.  That's a lot easier to do.


I was able to afford my "own" apartment for quite a lot of the time I had roommates (even a 2-bedroom) but I would much rather keep the savings and put up with the roommate.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@bvckvs @jt.turner71 

The cost of PTO and paid holidays are included in the determination of the annual salary or hourly wage for non-exempt employees.  If the employee is considered full time and these are part of the benefits then the employer is paying the employee for these days.

If the employee does not receive PTO, but is allowed to take time off with out pay then you are correct.  However, this explains why people will show up sick at work.


So, bucky, the correct answer is 2,080 hours per year.


PS:  Don't ask me how I know, I only did payrolls for a small company for about 6 years.

WhyDontYouJoinNAMBLA
WhyDontYouJoinNAMBLA

@bvckvs @jt.turner71  Who fucking cares dude? If they are getting paid hourly it doesn't fucking matter what the payroll accountant does. THEY AREN'T BEING PAID AN ANNUAL SALARY.


Are you the autistic student who wandered off?

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@jt.turner71

Yeah - if you multiply it by 52 weeks.  That's the mistake the author made. 

But in payroll accounting, annual salary is calculated based on a 50-week year.  Between mental health days, sick days, personal days, holidays and such- few, if any, hourly workers show up all day, every day, Monday through Friday and throughout the year.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@bvckvs ... so if everyone currently unemployed, or in college, switched to one of your "public service program" majors ... how many job openings would exist in those fields once the glut of graduates hits the market?


Your idiotic solution to unemployment / underemployment is that people should just become cops??


LOL!

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @bvckvs

You make an excellent point there. 

If your degree is in theological studies or some such, then finding a good job is going to be difficult at best.  Similarly, if you get a degree in forestry or environmental studies, but only look for work in metropolitan and urban areas, you'll not have much success.  There's also a big problem with folks who go through school on athletic scholarships who then can't find work as a professional athlete - because they tend to major in fields in which they don't really want to work.

But for folks who major in public service programs (like teachers and cops) or who major in salable fields (like accounting and information technology) and actually seek employment in those fields, finding good jobs is relatively simple.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul


And all automobile mechanics are currently employed, and all apprentice plumbers and journeyman electricians have 40 hours of work every week, eh numbnuts?



whocareswhatithink
whocareswhatithink

@everlastingphelps @mavdog I lived in a 500sqft efficiency in Junius Heights while saving for my first condo in Oak Lawn for about $500 per month. Providing you don't want the bells and whistles with a apartment building, you can also live by yourself cheaply. You just have to want to.

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