Florida minimum wage workers must work 98 hours a week to afford housing: Study

Data from the National Low Income Housing Coalition is giving a new perspective on Tampa's crippling housing crisis by focusing on the impact it's had on the more than 200,000 minimum wage workers in Florida.

"The people that I fight for are working two jobs trying to make ends meet. Now they have to go out and figure out working three jobs -- or a senior that is retired, and now even their apartments are going up and they have to get another job to make ends meet because their rent is going up every six months," said Robin Lockett, Tampa Bay Regional Director for Florida Rising, which advocates on behalf of those struggling to afford housing.

According to the study, the Sunshine State is among the top 10 states that require a higher hourly wage to afford housing. The data shows workers who currently make Florida's minimum of $12 an hour would need to work 98 hours a week just to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment.

READ: New Florida laws going into effect on July 1: Here are some of the highlights

Lockett says over the last year, the crisis hasn't let up. It's why she says many are doing anything they can to make it.

"People are resilient in a sense. They may have to move a family member in because that family member can't afford it. Now they have that family member who has three kids. They have three kids [too]. Now it's two people with six kids in a two-bedroom place," Lockett said.

Florida's minimum wage is set to increase over the next few years, but Lockett says she would like to see that happen sooner. Until then, she's preparing to advocate for more funding for affordable housing as part of the city's yearly budget.

ALSO: Tenants, activists protest against alleged violations, ‘wrongful’ evictions at townhomes in St. Petersburg

Last year, they advocated $12 million for rental and down-payment assistance programs. She's hoping to get the same amount in the budget next year, if not more.

"There still needs to change and we still need county commissioners, city council members, people that have the will of the people to make it happen," Lockett said.

As for the minimum wage increases, in September it'll rise to $13 per hour and then $14 by 2025 before topping out at $15 an hour in 2026.

SIGN UP: Click here to sign up for the FOX 13 daily newsletter