The 2013 County Profiles, released this week, show that 97% of Minnesota's counties have more extremely low income renters than affordable apartments available to them. You can find out how your area stacks up by visiting the new profiles.
Tough conditions for renters are not limited to the Twin Cities, according to data in the 2013 County Profiles. In all but 3 counties, there are more extremely low income renters than there are affordable and available apartments to rent. Statewide, there are only 38 units of rental housing available for every 100 extremely low-income renters.
A slow economic recovery and rising rental costs have made housing increasingly difficult to afford, especially for renters. Since 2000, rents in Minnesota have risen by 6% while incomes for renters have fallen by 17%, finds summary analysis of the county-by-county reports.
The County Profiles, an annual MHP project, take a comprehensive look at housing including homelessness, poverty, and workers' wages for each of Minnesota's 87 counties and the state as a whole. Accompanying the County Profiles to make county comparisons easier are charts, maps, and data analysis. Data in this year's profiles highlight the situation for renters. Also new this year is information on veterans, as well as a series of ten maps that help readers understand patterns and local conditions.
Chip Halbach, MHP's executive director, put the findings in context.
"When rental housing becomes too costly, all renters suffer, but the impact is especially severe for children," he said. "We know that parents end up cutting out food, school supplies, and medicines when housing isn't affordable. This is not good for Minnesota's future."
The County Profiles remind us just how important it is to ensure that resources for affordable rental are expanded, given the growing need. However, federal sequestration is putting Minnesota's supply of affordable housing at greater risk. Learn more about how to get involved in the national United for Homes campaign, which seeks to augment resources for affordable rental through the National Housing Trust Fund. Reforming the mortgage interest deduction is one strategy gaining momentum.
Read a full analysis and see selected charts and maps for Minnesota counties.