Minnesota rated the least affordable state for housing in the Midwest

A new national report shows someone earning minimum wage would have to work 86 hours a week to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment in Minnesota — that’s more than two full-time jobs.

The report, Out of Reach 2012, was jointly released by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a Washington, D.C.-based housing policy organization, the Minnesota Housing Partnership and the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless. The report provides rental affordability data for every state, metro area, and county in the country.

Of the twelve states in the Midwest, Minnesota ranked the worst for affordability for minimum wage workers. According to the report:

In order to afford the rent and utilities for a safe, modest 2-bedroom apartment in the private housing market, a Minnesota worker must earn $15.50 per hour, 40 hours a week, all year long. By contrast, the typical renter in Minnesota earns $12.17 per hour. Minimum wage pays only $7.25 per hour.

“The gap between what most renters make and the cost of housing is a problem facing the entire state,” said Chip Halbach, Executive Director of Minnesota Housing Partnership. “Families are forced to move because they cannot keep up their rent payments. This kind of instability jeopardizes the future of Minnesota’s children.”


-An estimated 54% renters in Minnesota do not earn enough to afford a two-bedroom unit at the “fair market rent” where they live.

-Twin Cities metro rents are most expensive. A modest two-bedroom apartment requires a full time worker to earn $17.38 per hour year-round — the most expensive in the state.

-The counties least affordable to renters, given the incomes they earn, are distributed throughout the both Metro and Greater Minnesota Counties. The top 5 least affordable counties with the highest estimated percent of renters unable to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment are Wadena (67% unable to afford), Carlton (62%), Winona (62%), Chisago (61%), and Ramsey (61%) Counties.

See MHP’s additional Minnesota maps based on Out of Reach data here.

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