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Rental Housing

Housing Alliance Delaware > Issues > Rental Housing
The Housing Wage Is $20.09

The Housing Wage is the hourly wage a family must earn - working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year - to be able to afford rent and utilities on a modest two-bedroom unit in the private housing market.

The report, Out of Reach 2014, was jointly released by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a Washington, D.C.-based research and advocacy organization, and the Delaware Housing Coalition. The report provides the Housing Wage and other housing affordability data for every state, metropolitan area, combined non metropolitan area, and county in the country.

The Housing Wage in Delaware Cities and Counties

Area 2-Bdrm FMR Housing Wage
State $ 20.09
Combined Nonmetro $ 16.04
Dover MSA $ 17.50
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington MSA $ 21.83
Kent County $ 17.50
New Castle County $ 21.83
Sussex County $ 16.04


In Delaware, the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,044. In order to afford this level of rent and utilities – without paying more than 30% of income on housing – a household must earn $3,482 monthly or $41,778 annually. Assuming a 40-hour work week, 52 weeks per year, this level of income translates into a Housing Wage of $20.09.

Delaware Rents and Affordability by County

*based on 2-bedroom FMR Kent New Castle Sussex
Fair Market Rent $910 $1135 $834
Affordable at 30% of AMI $485 $468 $591
Affordable with SSI $216 $216 $216

The Minimum Wage

In Delaware, a minimum wage worker earns an hourly wage of $7.25. A full-time, minimum wage worker can afford a monthly rent of $377. In order to afford the FMR for a two-bedroom apartment, a minimum wage earner must work 111 hours per week, 52 weeks per year. Or a household must include 2.8 minimum wage earners working 40 hours per week year-round in order to make the two-bedroom FMR affordable.

Delaware Renter Households

In Delaware, the estimated mean (average) wage for a renter is $15.01, which is $5.08 less than the hourly wage needed to afford a modest unit. In order to afford the FMR for a two-bedroom apartment at this wage, a renter must work 54 hours per week, 52 weeks per year. Or, working 40 hours per week year-round, a household must include 1.3 workers earning the mean renter wage in order to make the two-bedroom FMR affordable.

27% of Delaware households (91,288) are renters. An estimated 59% of renter households (or 53,860) in Delaware do not earn enough income to afford a two-bedroom unit at the Fair Market Rent (FMR).

Delaware Ranks #11 Out of 50

This year, Delaware is the eleventh most expensive of the 50 states when ranked by their two-bedroom housing wage. The National Housing Wage is $18.92.

Nonmetro Area Housing Wage is #10

Delaware has the eighth highest combined nonmetro area housing wage among the 50 states. It is $16.04.

All figures from:
National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC)
1012 Fourteenth Street NW, Suite 610, Washington, DC 20005
202/662-1530; Fax 202/393-1973;