If you have looked at your monthly rent bill lately, none of this news will surprise you. But if you’re in the rental market, there may be a bit of sticker shock when you hear about the latest report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition. It puts out a report called Out of Reach. The website has a handy tool where you can plug in any ZIP Code in the country to find out how how much money you need to earn per hour to be able to afford a rental in the town that corresponds to that zip code.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

It also lists average fair market rents for one and two bedroom apartments, the annual income needed to afford rentals from zero to four bedrooms and how many hours you’d need to work each week to afford the rentals in whatever state you plug in. For instance, here in New Jersey, working at minimum wage of $11 per hour, each week you would have to work 88 hours to afford a modest one bedroom rental home at fair market rent.

It also lists rental affordability in decreasing order, putting New Jersey at seventh of the least affordable rentals in the country. Not surprisingly, Hawaii has the highest rental costs in the country, requiring someone who makes $38.76 an hour to work  153 hours a week to afford a two bedroom home. Are there even 153 hours in a week?

After Hawaii, there are numbers 2-6 on the list:

2. California,

3. Massachusetts

4. Washington D.C.

5. New York

6. Washington

In case you’re wondering, the most affordable rental housing in the country is Arkansas at number 51 where you only have to work 57 hours at their minimum wage of $14.19 to afford that lovely two bedroom rental. Of course that doesn’t include Puerto Rico which is dead last. Maybe it’s time to brush up on your Spanish.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi's own.

More from Lite Rock 96.9: