To the editor:
An Associated Press article from Oct. 3 ("Report finds housing costs outpacing minimum wage") notes that the average U.S. employee working full-time must earn at least $11.28 to afford the rent for a two-bedroom apartment. Because Lawrence is a small city in the Midwest, it may seem reasonable to expect our housing costs to be much lower. In fact, the same report (by the National Low Income Housing Coalition) shows that a full-time worker in Lawrence needs to earn $10.92 to afford the rent for a modest two-bedroom apartment.
This figure helps illustrate how difficult it is for workers in jobs earning $8, $9, or even $10 an hour to make ends meet. It also provides additional evidence that the "living wage" requested by supporters of the Kaw Valley Living Wage Alliance ($9.14 plus health benefits) is a reasonable requirement for companies receiving sizable tax abatements.