Speaking of affordable housing, the National Low Income Housing Coalition finds that South Dakota has the third most affordable rent in the country. Defining “affordable” as “spending no more than 30% of their income on housing costs,” NLIHC figures that the “housing wage” to make a typical two-bedroom home “affordable” in South Dakota is $14.12 an hour. Better rental deals are found only in Kentucky and Arkansas.
By NLIHC’s formula, a South Dakotan working full-time at minimum wage needs to put in 51 hours a week to afford a two-bedroom flat:
Thank us Democrats for boosting that low-end affordability by raising the minimum wage to $8.65 an hour; if we were still stuck at the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour, a minimum wage worker in South Dakota would have to work 61 hours a week to afford a two-bedroom place.
Head up the payscale, though, and South Dakota doesn’t stand out as well for affordable rental housing. NLIHC finds that the average wage among South Dakota renters is $11.49, 81.4% of the affordable housing wage. That’s only the 21st-best ratio of average renter wage to affordable housing wage in the nation. No state reached 100%, but North Dakota was the best, with the average renter making 98.2% of the affordable housing wage. Minnesota’s ratio was 76.8%, 36th in the nation.