A new report from The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) report says Massachusetts is the sixth most expensive state in the country for renters. The NLIHC’s “Housing Wage” calculation — the amount a full-time worker would need to make to afford a two-bedroom apartment without spending more than 30 percent of his or her income on rent — is $24.63, more than 2.5 times as much as the state’s minimum wage of $9 per hour.

The national housing wage was $19.35, more than 2.7 times the federal minimum wage of $7.25. There is no state in the country where someone earning either the state or federal minimum wage can afford even a one-bedroom apartment renting at the HUD Fair Market Rent (FMR), the report found. In fact, a minimum wage earner would need to work 86 hours per week to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment and 107 hours per week to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment.

“Raising the minimum wage is a critical step to improving the lives of low-income households, but it is not enough,” NLIHC President and CEO Sheila Crowley said in a statement. “The data in Out of Reach make it clear that investing in affordable housing is essential to reducing poverty and housing instability in this country.”

According to the report, the most expensive states in the country were Hawaii (where a worker would need to earn $31.61 per hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment), the District of Columbia ($28.04), California ($26.65), New York ($25.67) and New Jersey ($25.17). Maryland, Connecticut, Alaska and Washington made up the rest of the top 10.

Housing is even more expensive in Boston, with the housing wage required to afford a two-bedroom unit around the Hub pegged at $28.73, according to the report. The most expensive metropolitan area in 2015 is San Francisco, where someone would have to earn close to $40 an hour to afford a decent two-bedroom rental unit.

There were more than 42 million renter households in the U.S. in 2013 and one in every four have incomes at or below 30 percent of the area median income, according to the NLIHC. (In Massachusetts, 37 percent of households are renters.) These households experience the greatest housing instability and risk of homelessness. They only can afford rents of $509 a month, far less than the two-bedroom FMR of $1,006 or the one-bedroom FMR of $806. The National Low Income Housing Coalition calculates that there are just 31 affordable and available units for every 100 extremely low-income renter households.

“Partisan paralysis in Congress makes it nearly impossible to raise the federal minimum wage or increase funding for HUD programs such as Housing Choice Vouchers and Public Housing,” added Crowley. “And yet the market continues to fail to provide affordable homes for the lowest income households. When the market fails to provide for such a basic human need as housing, government must close the gap.”

Report: Mass. Among Most Expensive States In Country For Renters

by Banker & Tradesman time to read: 2 min