Do you live in New York or Connecticut and feel like you are struggling to pay the rent? You are not alone.

According to the Southeast-Brewster Patch and Danbury Patch, while unemployment may be down, wages have not gone up. Even though wages have not gone up, rent keeps going up and to top it off the home ownership rate is at its lowest since 1989.

What does that mean?

It means that in New York State you need to earn $25.67 in order to afford a two-bedroom apartment, but that is $3.46 an hour more than the average renter in New York makes.

In Connecticut you need to make $24.29 per hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment, which is $8.12 per hour more than the average rent in Connecticut makes. This equates to the fifth largest wage gap in the country, according Patch.com.

The Southeast-Brewster Patch also points out that New Yorkers who are working for near minimum wage would have to work 98 hours a week just to afford a one-bedroom apartment in New York State, or 84 hours in Connecticut. This is one of the highest totals in the country.

Here are some numbers from the Patch article:

  • In Putnam County, where only 17 percent of households are rentals, fair market rent for a 1-bedroom is $1,249, according to the study, and someone would have to make $24.02 an hour to afford that.
  • Ditto in Rockland County, where 30 percent of households are rentals, according to the study.
  • In Westchester County, where 38 percent of households are renters, the fair-market rent for a one-bedroom is $1,292 and to afford that rent a worker would need to make $24.85 an hour to afford it.

Hawaii is the only state that is worse than New York. Those feeling the stress of these numbers the most are the low income renters. The reason is that lots of higher and middle income renters are occupying places that are affordable to lower income groups.

So, this takes away units from those low income renters. For every 100 extremely low income renters, there were only 31 affordable units that were actually available for them to rent.

Listen to Liz Kaye weekdays from 10-2 on 105.5 FM, online at kicks1055.com/listen-live/ or by downloading the radioPup app for your mobile device.