CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) – According to the most recent statistics from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, West Virginia is one of the least expensive places to rent an apartment. The Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $800. The report says that in order to afford this level of rent and utilities without paying more than 30% of income on housing, a household must earn $2,665 monthly, or $31,983 annually. The report calculates that the state housing wage would, as a result, be $15.38 per hour.

However, not all areas in the state are the same. In Morgantown, for example, the housing wage would be $17.15. The most expensive area in the state is the area around Winchester, which is technically in Virginia, and has a housing wage of $21.48.

Most Expensive AreasHousing Wage
Winchester (Metropolitan Statistical Area)$21.48
Martinsburg (Housing/Morgage Finance Area)$19.06
Putnam County$18.08
Jefferson County$18.00
Morgantown (Metropolitan Statistical Area)$17.15
Courtesy: NLIHC

According to the report, a person would have to work 70 hours per week at minimum wage to afford a two-bedroom rental home at fair market rent. To afford a one-bedroom rental home (FMR $653), a person would have to work 57 hours a week at minimum wage. That means that someone would have to work nearly two full-time jobs to afford a two-bedroom apartment.

The minimum wage in West Virginia is $8.75, but according to the report, the average renter’s wage is $13.92, still shy of the $15.38 state housing wage. In West Virginia, about 26% of residents are renters.

Even West Virginia’s most expensive housing wage is only about half of the housing wage in Hawaii, the most expensive state. Hawaii’s housing wage is $40.63 per hour, followed by California at $39.01 per hour and Massachusetts at $37.97 per hour.