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Affordable housing increasingly out of reach for average Indiana renter

 A "For Rent" sign is posted on a green lawn in a neighborhood in Indianapolis.
Provided by Robin Davis
The average wage earned by Indiana renters is more than $1 less per hour than the wage needed to afford a modest, two bedroom apartment in the state.

Affordable housing is out of reach for a majority of renters in Indiana — and the problem is only getting worse.

That's the latest data from the National Low Income Housing Coalition and Prosperity Indiana.

The report shows that the average wage needed to afford a basic, two-bedroom apartment in Indiana is $19 per hour. But Hoosier renters earn an average wage of $17.86 an hour.

Prosperity Indiana’s Andrew Bradley said it only gets worse when you compare Indiana to neighboring states.

“We’re still 91 cents an hour behind all of our Midwest neighbors put together,” Bradley said.

Bradley said more troubling is the fact that the median wage in half of Indiana’s 20 most common occupations doesn't meet that $19-an-hour needed to afford housing.

“We are talking about hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers who are working full-time and an increasing number of those most common occupations don’t pay enough to live,” Bradley said.

READ MORE: Advocates urge Senate lawmakers to spend on housing infrastructure loan fund

The cost of a two-bedroom apartment in Indiana went up 12 percent over the last year, while the average wage only increased 7.5 percent.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.