New data from the National Low Income Housing Coalition shows that the cost of housing is on the rise and wages in Louisiana are not keeping up.
In, Louisiana the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.
However, according to NLIHC, the average Louisiana renters need to make close to $17 dollars an hour to pay for housing. Those figures are even higher in Acadiana.
Lynn Tolivour works as a caregiver. Before getting her career, she’s worked minimum wage job and put in long hours to make ends meet.
"It’s been hard, it’s been hard. It’s hard on the body, it’s hard on the family. But, some people have to do what they have to do," explained Tolivour.
Minimum wage workers in Lafayette Parish must work around 92 hours a week to pay rent.
Here is the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s recommended hourly wage (working 40 hours per week) for each zip code in the Lafayette area to afford a two-bedroom rental.
70529 $14.62 (Duson)
70501 $15.19 (Northside Lafayette)
70518 $15.19 (Broussard)
70507 $15.77 ("Upper Lafayette")
70520 $15.77 (Carencro)
70583 $15.58 (Scott)
70506 $ 17.69 (Southwest Lafayette)
70592 $17.69 (Youngsville)
70503 $18.08 (South Central Lafayette)
70508 $ 20.00 (Southeast Lafayette)
According to the NLIHC date, a Lafayette resident needs to make around $15 dollars an hour to rent a two-bedroom home.
However, in Youngsville and Southern Lafayette Parish, one would need a wage between $17.00 and $20.00 dollars an hour to rent a two-bedroom home.
The NLIHC recommends that a person’s rent should be thirty percent of their income.
"If you’re making that much, you’re only allowed to pay what you can pay. You don’t have any lagniappe money. You don’t have any extra money left over. And, I think if you’re gonna go up on the cost of living, you should go up on the minimum wage too because it doesn’t balance out," explained Lafayette resident Trey Coleman.