United Tenants of Albany, Inc

A Better Place To Live

Jobs and Housing

Sadly, having a job does not guarantee that you will be able to pay the rent. If you are a part-time worker at or near the minimum wage rate, your housing security may be even more tenuous.  One of the primary reasons most often sited by tenants for falling behind with their rent is the inconsistency in their hours at work: one week they may work 30 hours, the next week 15 hours.  Approximately 67% of the people that received homeless prevention services from United Tenants in the period July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012 were employed, most often in part-time positions.

The relationship between being a part-time worker and the risk of being evicted for nonpayment of rent is not new, but this trend has become more prevalent.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the retail and wholesale sector, with a total of 18.6 million jobs, has cut a million full-time jobs since 2006, while adding more than 500,000 part-time jobs.  Many part-time employees would prefer to work full-time, but their employers do not provide that option.  As the waiting lists for affordable housing grow longer and longer, the housing situation for many low income workers has reached a crisis. Clearly, a “living wage”, not just a minimum wage, is needed as well as far more subsidized housing for low wage workers.

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