housing subsidies

In Illinois, it would take more than two full-time jobs at minimum wage to afford rent for a two-bedroom apartment. That’s according to a report released this week by the Washington, D.C.-based National Low Income Housing Coalition.

A single earner in Illinois would have to put in 97 hours of work a week at minimum wage to pay for that rent, according to the report. The state’s fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,309. Illinois’ minimum wage is $8.25 per hour.

As a single mother with two kids, Carma Kimber thought her life was tough. When she became pregnant a third time, it got a lot tougher. But with federal housing aid, the 28-year-old Peoria woman has been able to go to college, which gives her a shot at a better-paying job. 

“I’d rather struggle for a short period of time and come out with something really amazing than just continue to struggle with no ending,” says Kimber, who is studying full time to become a registered nurse while working 10 hours a week on the campus of Illinois Central College.