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Even in affordable Pittsburgh, still living at home — struggling with debt, limited options

Tim Grant, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on

Published in Home and Consumer News

According to a 2016 study by Zillow, almost 9 percent of millennials across the U.S. live alone, but that number has been declining since 2005 -- likely because of rising rents and home prices.

There are still places throughout the U.S. where it's easier for young adults to live independently, Pittsburgh being one of them. In this region, 14.3 percent of millennials live alone and their median income is $40,000 a year. At this income, they can afford to live in 17.2 percent of homes in the region alone.

Pittsburgh's median two-bedroom rent of $920 is below the national average of $1,160. However, slower than average job growth has been a hinderance. The Pittsburgh area gained 17,200 jobs between September 2016 and September 2017, a 1.5 percent increase.

Steiner works part-time as a group fitness instructor for a company called Innovative Wellness. She teaches a few days a week for corporate clients, making just enough to keep her car loan and student loans current.

Meanwhile, she has begun to move some of her furniture out of storage to set up a room in the basement of her parents' four-bedroom home.

"I'm going to try to stick it out," she said. "I want to be here. But I would take a job outside of Pittsburgh that would pay me enough to live the quality of life I had in Atlanta."

If she's going to stay in her hometown, she doesn't want to stay where she is for much longer.

"In order for me to stay here I don't want to keep living in my parents' basement. I want to live on my own."

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