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Report: $1,661 for Fair Market 2-Bedroom Rental in Worcester Area

By Tom Marino | July 8, 2024
Last Updated: July 8, 2024

WORCESTER – A new report finds the fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the Worcester area rose to $1,661 this year, up from $1,635 the same report found last year, an increase of 2.2 percent.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition released its annual Out of Reach report last week on housing costs across the United States.

The report shows that the median wage in just seven occupational categories in Massachusetts enables the rental of two-bedroom housing at an affordable rate.

The full list of occupations and wages are included at the bottom of this page.

About 372,000 workers in Massachusetts are classified within those professions, which is just 7.3 percent of about 5.1 million.

An affordable housing rate is equal to 30 percent or less of income.

The Worcester HUD Metro FMR Area (HMFA) includes Worcester and 32 area municipalities. The report says there are 222,576 households within the Worcester HMFA, which includes 82,586 renters, a renter rate of 37 percent. Across Massachusetts there are over 2.7 million households, with over one million renters, a rental rate of 38 percent.

The report found the fair market rents within the Worcester HMFA, and the hourly wage and annual income to rent them affordably, as:

Bedrooms Market
Hourly Wage
Annual Income
0 $1,282 $24.65 $51,280
1 $1,292 $24.85 $51,680
2 $1,661 $38.62 $66,440
3 $2,008 $38.62 $80,320
4 $2,212 $42.54 $88,480

Find the full list of municipalities in the Worcester HMFA at the bottom of this page.

At the state minimum wage of $15 per hour, a worker would need to work 66 hours per week to earn enough to rent a studio or one-bedroom rental housing unit affordably. Affordable rent for a minimum wage worker in Massachusetts is $780.

Worcester’s Inclusionary Zoning ordinance requires development of new housing with 12 or more units to reserve 15 percent of units for renters/buyers who earn 80 percent of the area medium income, 10 percent for those who earn 60 percent of the area medium income, or a combination of the two.

According to the report, 50 percent of area median income for the Worcester HMFA is $58,650 annually. The median household income of renters in the HMFA is $52,353 annually. That leaves over half of renters in the area eligible for the limited affordable housing stock in the city.

Statewide Occupational Data

Occupation Total
Hourly Wage
Computer and Information
Systems Managers
25,030 $86.27
Financial Managers 31,370 $83.66
Software Developers 59,960 $67.54
General and Operations Managers 111,380 $59.43
Management Analysts 30,900 $54.94
Project Management Specialists 25,670 $49.88
Registered Nurses 87,320 $49.12
Two-bedrooom Housing Wage $44.84
Accountants and Auditors 42,420 $43.29
Market Research Analysts and
Marketing Specialists
27,020 $40.40
Human Resources Specialists 26,090 $38.13
Sales Representatives of Services,
Except Advertising, Insurance,
Financial Services, and Travel
25,530 $37.84
Sales Representatives, Wholesale
and Manufacturing, Except Technical
and Scientific Products
27,460 $37.00
One-Bedroom Housing Wage $36.93
First-Line Supervisors of Office
and Administrative Support Workers
42,300 $36.65
All Occupations 3,643,450 $29.89
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer
Truck Drivers
32,890 $29.04
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and
Auditing Clerks
34,930 $27.03
Maintenance and Repair Workers,
27,980 $26.08
Secretaries and Administrative
Assistants, Except Legal, Medical,
and Executive
34,600 $25.59
Office Clerks, General 53,740 $23.73
Customer Service Representatives 62,100 $23.31
First-Line Supervisors of Food
Preparation and Serving Workers
26,390 $22.13
Nursing Assistants 36,790 $21.77
Cooks, Restaurant 31,620 $21.45
Laborers and Freight, Stock, and
Material Movers, Hand
37,620 $21.07
Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids
and Housekeeping Cleaners
55,160 $19.19
Home Health and Personal Care Aides 113,730 $18.44
Stockers and Order Fillers 50,650 $18.32
Retail Salespersons 83,780 $17.68
Waiters and Waitresses 50,370 $17.27
Fast Food and Counter Workers 86,500 $17.16
Cashiers 66,760 $16.74

Municipalities within the Worcester HMFA

  • Auburn
  • Barre
  • Boylston
  • Brookfield
  • Charlton
  • Clinton
  • Douglas
  • Dudley
  • East Brookfield
  • Grafton
  • Holden
  • Leicester
  • Millbury
  • Northborough
  • Northbridge
  • North Brookfield
  • Oakham
  • Oxford
  • Paxton
  • Princeton
  • Rutland
  • Shrewsbury
  • Southbridge
  • Spencer
  • Sterling
  • Sturbridge
  • Sutton
  • Uxbridge
  • Webster
  • Westborough
  • West Boylston
  • West Brookfield
  • Worcester


Image Courtesy of the National The Low-Income Housing Coalition

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