It’s no surprise people are filing for bankruptcy; they can’t even afford an apartment!

You work hard at your full-time job, so you figure you should be able to pay your rent and put food on your table.  Guess again.  Some people making minimum wage in Ohio, are not going to be able to rent a median two-bedroom apartment without heading toward bankruptcy.

According to new research by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, you would have to make more than twice as much to afford a typical apartment — $15 per hour as opposed to the federal minimum wage of $7.25.  While you may be able to find apartments that charge less than the median rent, these are likely to be substandard or unsafe. Even so, there aren’t nearly enough low-rent apartments to meet demand.

Although a proposed federal minimum wage of $15 an hour is now part of the Democratic Party platform, the way things are now, people making the federal minimum wage of $7.25 have to work 94.5 hours a week, or more than two full-time jobs, to afford a typical two-bedroom rental.

High housing costs are a major contributor to debt, but there are answers to financial problems.  The skilled and seasoned Ohio bankruptcy attorneys at Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer understand that even the most hard working and well-intentioned people can find themselves in a financial hole.  We offer a free consultation to evaluate your financial situation.  Contact us today at 614-228-4435 (Columbus), 937-222-7472 (Dayton), or 877-654-5297 (Cincinnati) or email for your free consultation so we can determine what debt relief solutions will work best for you.

Why the Housing Problem

According to the report, one source of the unaffordable housing problem is that the occupations that are providing the most jobs pay too little to cover rent. Most job growth is in customer service representatives, personal care aides, nursing assistants, home health aides, retail salespeople, home health and food service workers who make, on average, between $10 and $16 an hour.

The federal government defines housing costs as “unaffordable” when they exceed 30 percent of income. However, the report shows that more than 11.2 million families spend more than half their paychecks on housing.  The result is they wind up not having enough to pay for necessities like transportation, education, food, and clothing, and they sink deeper into debt.

In addition, the government spends little to help poor people afford housing.

The federal government’s main program for making housing affordable is the Section 8 voucher program. The program makes up the difference between 30 percent of qualified tenants’ incomes and market based rents. Tenants get vouchers they can give to their landlords that guarantee that the government will make up what landlords who choose to build affordable housing projects would lose compared to building market-rate housing.

However, the Section 8 housing program has faced a series of cuts, and when tenants leave project-based Section 8 housing, they lose the subsidy.  Therefore, tenants don’t move and there are long waits for apartments to open up and a long waiting list for vouchers.

Help Finding Housing

You can find listings of subsidized housing at Public Housing.com including HUD apartments, Public Housing Apartments, Low Income Apartments, Subsidized Apartments, Senior Subsidized Apartments, Apartments for Disabled and local Housing Authority listings and apartments. Rental rates vary, based on income.

Affordable Housing Online, also offers information on low income housing and waiting lists.

The Community Housing Impact and Preservation Program (CHIP) provides funding for a flexible, community-wide approach to improve and provide affordable housing for low- and moderate-income people and strengthen neighborhoods through community collaboration.

The Ohio Housing Finance Agency administers the Housing Development Assistance Program to provide financing for eligible housing developments to expand the supply of decent, safe, affordable housing for very low- to moderate-income persons and households in the state of Ohio.

Contact Us For Help

If your housing costs and other financial issues have become so overwhelming that you find yourself drowning in debt, you may want to consider the fresh start available by filing for bankruptcy.   Bankruptcy is a legal way to have many debts forgiven. The most common types are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.  Chapter 7 is a full liquidation of all assets, while Chapter 13 may allow you to keep property while you complete a three- to five-year payment plan to have debts forgiven.

The experienced and compassionate Ohio debt relief attorneys at Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer can provide a helping hand.  We offer a free consultation to evaluate your entire financial situation. We will examine your income, your debts and your goals and discuss the best fit for you.  We will make sure you are aware of all your options and help you decide on the path to a brighter future that makes sense in your individual case.  We understand what you are going through and will handle every phase of the process.

Delaying can only make your situation worse, so call the Ohio bankruptcy attorneys at Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer today!  Call one of our conveniently located office branches at 614-228-4435 (Columbus), 937-222-7472 (Dayton), or 877-654-5297 (Cincinnati) or email for your free consultation so we can determine what debt relief solutions will work best for you.

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