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Report: $1,625 for Fair Market 2-Bedroom Rental in Worcester Area

By Tom Marino | June 20, 2023
Last Updated: July 8, 2024

WORCESTER  –  A new study finds the fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Worcester and the surrounding area is $1,625. It also found that  3.5 million Massachusetts residents work in fields with a median hourly wage less per hour than required for the fair market rate of a one-bedroom to be affordable.

The National Low-Income Housing Alliance 2023 Out of Reach study says that a single worker supporting a family in a two-bedroom apartment in the Worcester area would need to earn $31.44 per hour for rent to be affordable. That is the third highest behind only California and Hawaii. The estimated median wage of renters in the Worcester area is $18.22 per hour.

An individual earning at the minimum wage, $15 an hour, would need to work 82 hours per week for a fair market two-bedroom apartment to be affordable.

When an individual spends less than 30 percent of their income on housing, it is considered affordable for that individual.

An affordable rent for someone earning the minimum wage is $780. For someone collecting Social Security Insurance SSI, an affordable rent is $309.

The study finds the following fair market rents in the Worcester area:

  • Studio: $1,231
  • One-Bedroom: $1,272
  • Two-Bedroom: $1,635
  • Three-Bedroom: $1,990
  • Four Bedroom: $2,196

There are 81,708 renter households in the Worcester area. The estimated mean income of $18.22 is under $38,000 annually if working 40 hours a week for all 52 weeks of that year. That is just over 30 percent of the area median income (AMI) $122,000.

In April, Worcester City Council passed an inclusionary zoning ordinance that requires new developments of 12 or more housing units make 10 percent of those units available at rates affordable for those earning at 60 percent of AMI or 15 percent of units affordable for those earning 80 percent of AMI.

The study found an all-time low vacancy rate in the Worcester area of 3.3 percent.


Image Courtesy of the National The Low-Income Housing Coalition

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