New housing data has been posted to the KIDS COUNT Data Center, including the percent of renters unable to afford Fair Market Rent for a 2-bedroom unit and the hourly wage a renter would need to earn so that no more than 30 percent of their income goes toward housing costs for a 2-bedroom unit. These new data reflect the growing need for safe and affordable rental housing for families, which has been exacerbated by the foreclosure crisis. According to a recent report from First Focus, an estimated 3 million children nationwide have lost or are at risk to lose their rented homes due to foreclosures.

Fair Market Rent (FMR) are estimates provided by the Department of Housing & Urban Development on the cost of shelter and tenant-paid utilities. The percent of Kentucky renters unable to afford 2-bedroom FMR has been on the rise, from 47 percent in Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 to 51 percent in FY 2012. Counties vary greatly on this indicator across the Commonwealth, from less than 40 percent of renters unable to afford such rent in Caldwell, Hardin, Hopkins, Meade, Metcalfe and Woodford Counties to more than 75 percent of renters struggling to afford it in Elliott, Lee, Magoffin, Rockcastle and Wolfe Counties.

The minimum wage in Kentucky is $7.25 per hour. Unfortunately, in nearly 1 in every 4 Kentucky counties a renter would need a full-time job earning $11.85 per hour to be able to afford a 2-bedroom unit. In fact, nowhere in Kentucky can a renter afford the FMR for a 2-bedroom unit on Kentucky’s minimum wage, even if working full-time.


KIDS COUNT Data Center

The KIDS COUNT Data Center provides information across states and for Kentucky counties and school districts on many measures of child well-being, including: economic well-being, education, health, and safety. Users can easily rank, map, graph trends over time, and add customized information to their own websites. Users can also view and share data quickly and easily anytime and anywhere with the enhanced mobile site for smart phones.

Looking for more information? Research and recommendations for improving outcomes for the Kentucky KIDS COUNT indicators can be found in the annual Kentucky KIDS COUNT County Data Books here.