The critical number for affordable housing in Manteca is $18.75 per hour.
That is the per hour wage someone needs to make via a full-time, 40-hour job to meet the minimum income requirement to be eligible to rent a one-bedroom, one bathroom apartment in four of the eight largest apartment complexes in Manteca that have one-bedroom units. Those four represent the least expensive of the eight complexes.
The most expensive complex — Paseo Villas where one bedrooms rent for $1,615 — requires a fulltime job where the pay is at $25.23 an hour.
Most apartment complexes require applicants to have an income that is 2.5 times greater a month than the rent.
A $1,200 month rent requires $3,000 a month income or grossing $39,000 a year. That translates into 40 percent of your income going to monthly housing costs. And that is before your credit report and debt load enter into the picture.
The American Credit Counseling organization contends no more than 35 percent of your gross income should go toward housing and debt service. That means spending between $900 and $1,050 a month. However, included in that are costs such as utilities, renter’s insurance and any maintenance costs you might be responsible to cover.
It goes without saying that families often rely on combined incomes or a spouse working two jobs to secure housing in Manteca. Those who are single adults and have jobs that can’t bankroll their apartments either get a roommate, live with their parents or rent rooms in someone’s home.
You can rent a studio apartment in Manteca — assuming you can find a vacancy — for $1,015 a month.
That will get you a 460-square-foot studio in Westwood Village on the south side of Center Street west of Union Road. Using the 2.5 times gross income formula that gives you some breathing room as a $15.86 per hour fulltime job would qualify you for consideration.
The question is when will California allow basic changes in development patterns that would reduce construction costs connected to infrastructure and building housing before we find ourselves in a position like Hong Kong where 100 square-foot homes built within large sections of concrete storm drainage pipe (see related story) start to make sense as a viable solution to our housing dilemma?