Priced out

Fort Worth among least affordable U.S. cities for minimum-wage renters, report says

Fort Worth among least affordable U.S. cities for minimum-wage renters

paying rent, moving, paying bills, renter
Not so easy when you're making $7.25 an hour. Getty Images

If you’re a minimum-wage worker who’s hunting for an apartment in Fort Worth, you might be out of luck in terms of affordable options.

Fort Worth, along with three other North Texas cities — Plano, Irving, and Dallas — made a new GOBankingRates list of the 15 least affordable U.S. cities for minimum-wage renters.

The U.S. and Texas minimum wages are $7.25 an hour. In these four cities, someone earning minimum wage would need to work at least 154 hours to pay the monthly rent for the typical one-bedroom apartment, according to GOBankingRates.

Austin is the only other Texas city on the list of the least affordable places for minimum-wage renters.

Plano ranked third for the number of work hours needed to afford a one-bedroom rent, with Irving at No. 9, Dallas at No. 11, and Fort Worth at No. 15. Here’s the breakdown for each city, based on someone making $7.50 an hour.

Plano

  • Average 2022 one-bedroom rent: $1,439.80
  • Work hours needed to afford one-bedroom rent: 198.59
  • Hourly rate needed to get apartment: $27.69

GOBankingRates says Plano’s higher-than-average housing and utility costs make it even harder to get by “unless you’re on the higher end of the wage scale.”

Irving

  • Average 2022 one-bedroom rent: $1,235.80
  • Work hours needed to afford one-bedroom rent: 170.46
  • Hourly rate needed to get apartment: $23.77

Irving “has costs that edge out the national average by a few percentage points, but similar to other [cities] is hindered by a low minimum wage that is outpaced greatly by housing costs,” GOBankingRates says. 

Dallas

  • Average 2022 one-bedroom rent: $1,161
  • Work hours needed to afford one-bedroom rent: 160.14
  • Hourly rate needed to get apartment: $22.33

Although Dallas might be a lucrative place to start business, it’s “less forgiving to renters on the low end of the wage scale,” GOBankingRates says.

Fort Worth

  • Average 2022 one-bedroom rent: $1,116.60
  • Work hours needed to afford one-bedroom rent: 153.93
  • Hourly rate needed to get apartment: $21.46

“Fort Worth is another Texas city where … low wages counter its relatively cheaper housing costs,” GOBankingRates points out.

While those four DFW cities didn’t fare well, the numbers for Austin are even worse. Austin ranked second for the number of work hours needed to afford a one-bedroom apartment (198.68), based on an average 2022 one-bedroom apartment rent of $1,440.00 and an hourly rate of $27.70 needed to get that apartment.

“A bustling cultural hub, the capital city of Texas has become another city where the cost of living has far outpaced the wages — thanks in part to the $7.25 minimum wage,” GOBankingRates notes.

Ahead of Austin on the list of least affordable places for minimum-wage-earning renters was Atlanta, where 213.16 work hours are needed to afford a one-bedroom apartment, according to GOBankingRates.