ORLANDO, Fla. -- As the cost of housing in Orlando continues to rise a recent study done by the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness says in order to afford the average two bedroom apartment, families need to make about $21 an hour.

  • Families need to make about $21 an hour to afford 2-bedroom apartment
  • People living in Orlando say low minimum wage is a big concern

Mary Sainevil knows a thing or two about saving. That is why she does most of her shopping here at the United Against Poverty center, which offers low-cost groceries. 

“That’s all I do is look for deals, if it’s a deal I want it,” Sainevil said.

Sainevil says saving those dollars can help especially with high rent costs many are battling across Central Florida. The main problem she says is the state’s low minimum wage which is currently $8.25.

“You are just making minimum wage or a little bit less than minimum wage, you are going to be in the Extended Stay, you are going to be in the Motels, you are going to be looking at efficiencies, you are not going to have that quality of life that someone who is getting paid way more than you are,” Sainevil said.

Shelley Lauten the CEO of Central Florida Commission on Homelessness says minimum wage is only part of the problem. 

“Wages alone won’t do it, if we are also not looking at the cost of housing, transportation, childcare, healthcare those issues that are keeping people from temporarily being houses to being on the streets.”

The Commission on Homelessness also works with different agencies in the area to provide affordable housing to people in need. Still, Sanevil says it’s not enough. She says things will only start to improve when wages get better.

“Pay people what they are worth, you know they can’t…everything is going up so why can’t the wages,” Sainevil said.

Minimum wage in the state of Florida is expected to increase by $0.21 on January 1, bringing the new minimum wage to $8.46.