A recent report released by the National Low Income Housing Coalition and the Arizona Housing Coalition showed that of all the large cities in Arizona, Flagstaff has the highest average rental prices when compared to the average wages of a renter.
An individual living in Flagstaff would have to be earning a full-time wage of $21.71 an hour in order to afford the rent for an average market-rate, two-bedroom apartment in town.
But the average wage for renters in Flagstaff is only $12.37. Based on this, an affordable rate for rent in Flagstaff should be closer to $650 a month, the report reads, a far cry from the average two-bedroom price of rent at $1,129 a month.
This means a couple, both working full-time and making Flagstaff’s current minimum wage of $11 an hour, would not be able to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment, the study reads.
This is in comparison with the Phoenix metropolitan area, where the average price for a two-bedroom rental is $116 less. In Tucson the average two-bedroom rental is $275 less than in Flagstaff and Prescott is $238 less.
The percentage of people living in Flagstaff who rent rather than own their homes is also the highest in the state at 41 percent. Tucson and the Phoenix metropolitan area are tied for next highest at 39 percent.
“Housing should not be one of the additional struggles placed on Arizonans, especially those with the lowest incomes,” said Joan Serviss, the executive director of the Arizona Housing Coalition, in a press release. “This report highlights the lack of affordable housing available to those on very fixed incomes.”