Yes, Twin Cities renters, you are paying a lot

The bad news comes from the Minnesota Housing Partnership. Every year, the partnership and the National Low Income Housing Coalition release a renting affordability report.

Minnesota’s dubious distinction is that we are the least affordable rental state in the Midwest.

How big a deal is that?

The U.S. Census and Department of Housing and Urban Development statistics show about a fourth of Minnesota’s households – nearly 540,000 – are rental households.

Those renters, the numbers show, need to earn more than $15 an hour to afford a modest two bedroom apartment and utilities which can range from $800 to $900 a month.

The numbers show Minnesota’s typical renter earns just over $11 an hour.

The result is a troublingly high number of state residents – about a fifth – pay half or more of their income for shelter.

Doesn’t leave much for food, medical care, transportation or anything else.

So, yes, Twin Cities rent is high and rising in a very tight market with a vacancy rate hovering around three percent.

But save a measure of sympathy for our outstate cousins. Their rents are rising faster in relation to income.

The Minnesota Housing Partnership points out, “The Minnesota counties with the highest increase in rents since 2000 are outside of the Twin Cities Metro, particularly in southwest Minnesota. Rents in Martin, Faribault, Cottonwood, Pipestone, Murray, Rock, Watonwan and Jackson Counties have increased by 56% or more since 2000, compared to 32% statewide since 2000.”

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