The report also found that there are only 22 counties in the U.S. where a full-time minimum wage worker can afford a one-bedroom rental. They noted that each of those counties were in states with a minimum wage higher than the federal requirement.

If you live in Tennessee, the study shows you need to be making $15.74 per hour to afford a two bedroom apartment. Minimum wage is $7.25 per hour in Tennessee

Can Knoxville residents making minimum wage afford two-bedroom apartments?

Up Goose Creek's picture


The thing that bugs me about these reports why they automatically assume there is only one income. Are they stuck in Ozzie and Harriet land where mom always stays home? Are they resigned to a society of deadbeat dads?

There is no mention of reality based sex ed and readily available birth control.

TN is doing something right in making education available so that people can hope for better incomes and set aside savings for when they have a kid.

I know that a min wage job is the best some people can hope for and I don't mind subsidizing child care for those who need it. I do think we need a higher minimum wage but I don't think it needs to be doubled.

cafkia's picture

I do think we need a higher

I do think we need a higher minimum wage but I don't think it needs to be doubled.

I disagree. I think the minimum wage needs to be retroactively tied to the Congressional pay (including benefits and allowances). If that goes up in any way, minimum wage would automatically go up by the same percentage. Make that retroactive to 1970 and the minimum wage would, IIRC, be somewhere in the $22+ per hour range right now.

That would be fair and reasonable.

bizgrrl's picture

Minimum wage in Tennessee is

Minimum wage in Tennessee is $7.25/hour. One person working a 40 hour week would be about $1,247/month. Thirty percent of that is what they are allocating to rent, which would be about $375 a month. Two persons working a 40 hour week would be about $2,494/month. Thirty percent of that would be $748/month.

In briefly researching apartment rentals in the area, an apartment can be found for $375/month for one person. There is a large complex off of Alcoa Highway just over the Blount County line that advertises that rate. It would appear there are others in the Knox County area. The key would be are there any apartments available and how do you find them.

I found a couple of complexes in South Knoxville that are probably inexpensive but a person would have to call them to find out rates and availability. There were no websites to be found for them. There are apartments in Sequoyah Hills for $540 to $690 a month, which could be used by two people. These would be more convenient in that they would be on the bus line.

When we first got married we rented in a trailer park just over the Blount County line. With just one car it was tough. It was much better when we moved to South Knoxville. You could easily catch a bus and stores were close.

Then there are the horrible stories on low cost rentals.

A widow in East Knoxville has been dealing with a major water leak in her apartment for more than a month. She first contacted the manager at her [KCDC] low-income apartment complex five weeks ago, but the leak continued.

jbr's picture

I haven't thought about it a

I haven't thought about it a lot, but at the moment I think the minimum wage should be what is classified as a "living wage" for that municipality.

So for Knoxville, that looks like $9.95 an hour currently.

For Knox County, $10.06 an hour.

Subject to change each year, 2 years, something like that.

Anyone working for any form of government that should be the minimum wage. Including anyone doing contract work for government. Seems like that may already be in effect. I cannot recall.

Also, I guess it is unlikely, but the Living Wage could also go down.

Living Wage Calculation for Knoxville, TN

Living Wage Calculation for Knox County

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