A recent report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition says that minimum wage workers can't afford "modest" 2-bedroom apartments anywhere in the United States without paying more than 30 percent of their income.
Is housing in Macon truly affordable?
The kitchen staff at the H&H Soul Food restaurant are hard at work during the lunch rush. From washing dishes, to cleaning, to frying up crispy chicken, the general manager says they are paid for quality.
Drew Jennings says, "And we pay a little bit higher wage for our kitchen staff, too, because we like to have quality employees that are gonna know if we take care of them, they are gonna take care of us."
The servers earn in other ways. Jennings says, "We have an average wage of our servers of $2.13 an hour, which is the standard for a restaurant business."
13WMAZ visited a few apartment complexes in Macon. They all had similar rent requirements. If someone is looking to rent, he or she has to earn two-and-a-half to three times the rent amount, pass a credit check, and pay a fee or put down a deposit. Jennings says luckily his servers make more than minimum wage after tips.
Jennings says, "Servers can make anywhere from $10 to $12 an hour, and then on busy days, they can make up to $20 an hour."
When asked if a 2-bedroom was affordable with the $7.25 wage, Jennings didn't think so.
Jennings says, "As a single income and only one job, probably not."
Jennings says H&H gets busy throughout the day so workers can punch in those orders to make the money they need.
"You can't find too many minimum wage jobs that people are getting the full 40 hours. They are more part-time work so people are having two and three jobs just to make ends meet," says Jennings.