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Minimum Wage Earners Required to Work Overtime to Afford Housing in the Black Hills U.S. Air Force photo
June 26, 2017

Minimum Wage Earners Required to Work Overtime to Afford Housing in the Black Hills

Individuals earning a minimum wage in South Dakota must work 51 hours per week in order to afford a one-bedroom apartment in South Dakota, according to a recent report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition. In order to afford a two-bedroom rental home, South Dakotans would need to make $14.12 per hour, or work 65 hours per week at the minimum wage.

Pennington County is the most expensive county in the Black Hills region to live in, with an hourly wage of $15.83 per hour required to afford two-bedroom rental housing as defined by 2017 Fiscal Year Fair Market Rent. However, an individual earning minimum wage in Pennington County would have work 73 hours per week in order to afford the same housing. Lawrence and Butte Counties were the most affordable, but still required individuals to work 57 hours per week at minimum wage or $12.40 an hour to afford two-bedroom rental housing. An overview of housing affordability for the counties of the Black Hills can be viewed below: 

 CountyFair Market Rent for Two-Bedroom HousingWork Hours/Week at Minimum Wage to Afford Two-Bedroom HousingHourly Wage Needed to Afford Two-Bedroom Rental Housing
 Pennington $823 73$15.83 
 Custer $781 69$15.02 
 Meade $701 62 $13.48
 Oglala Lakota $645 57 $12.48
 Fall River $647 58 $12.44
 Lawrence $645 57 $12.40
 Butte$645  57 $12.40

While housing in the Sioux Falls metropolitan area has previously been more affordable than housing in the Rapid City metropolitan area, fewer disparities between the two counties were seen this year. In 2016, the fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Rapid City was $825 per month while it was $734 in Sioux Falls. In 2017, fair market rent in Rapid City for a two-bedroom apartment was $823 per month while Sioux Falls rose to $811 per month. A comparison of housing costs in Sioux Falls and Rapid City can be viewed below: 

Regionally, South Dakota required the lowest wage to afford a two-bedroom housing unit at $14.12 per hour, ranking the state 49th nationally. Iowa, Nebraska and Montana also required relatively low wages to afford two-bedroom housing hovering around $14/hour. North Dakota, Wyoming and Minnesota required higher wages to afford housing. The weekly hours required to afford two-bedroom housing at minimum wage as well as the wage required to afford housing at forty hours per week can be viewed below: 

 StateWage Required to Afford Two-Bedroom HousingWeekly Hours Required to Afford Two-Bedroom Housing at Minimum WageNational Ranking
 Minnesota $18.607021
 North Dakota$16.369028
 Wyoming$15.808733
 Montana$14.907342
 Nebraska$15.226839
 Iowa $14.578047
 South Dakota$14.126549

To learn more about housing affordability in South Dakota and across the nation, view the full Out of Reach 2017 report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.  

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